Noticing Signs of Aging
You’ve started noticing little changes. Maybe your parent can’t do things they did before, their diet has changed or they’ve become forgetful. You wonder if these are normal parts of aging. What makes you most concerned, though, is how isolated they seem.
Adjusting to New Limitations
You read that in the U.S., 3 million older adults go to the emergency room for falls every year. Now when you see your parent shuffle from room to room, every throw rug, power cord and step looks like a tripping hazard – and then there’s the shower. When you start to inventory all the changes you’ll need to make to their house, you wonder if it'll be enough, and for how long.
Balancing Increased Responsibilities
You’re running two households. Managing your own daily obligations while coordinating meals, transportation to doctor’s appointments and housekeeping for your parent. You don’t know how much longer you can do it all – especially if your parent won't even admit that they need help. Sometimes you remember – with no shortage of guilt – that you had other plans for this time in your life.
Life After a Health Event
Accidents happen. It’s just that for older adults, a fall or illness could mean months of physical therapy and needing assistance getting dressed and going to the bathroom. You realize it’s time to accept that your parent needs more care than you can give. Now you have to figure out how to bring it up. You don’t think your parent will be open to senior living, even though it’s the best option. While the choice feels forced by circumstance, you still want the move to be good – so how do you find the right community?
Finding the Right Community
You know your parent is safe, eating well and getting to appointments, but you still feel a little guilty. When you finally go on a vacation, you worry they’ll feel abandoned because you’ve been visiting almost daily to smooth the transition. But when you get back, you discover they've made friends and even joined a weekly watercolor class. Now that you’re not being a parent to your parent, visiting is, well, fun. You can relax and catch up over dinner – and you don’t even have to cook or clean up after.