Deciding how best to get proper care for your aging parents can be a very difficult decision and is not one to be taken lightly. You, your family and your parents must take many things into account, including you and your parents' financial situation, your wishes, their wishes and what's really in your parents' best interest. It's important to remember that no matter what you and your family decide, you can always try something different if the first option you choose ends up not working out. Here are the most common three options you have to ensure your parents receive proper healthcare.
1. At-Home Care
Depending on the health of your parent, they may just need a helper some of the time, all of the time or the full-time care of an actual medical professional. The cost will vary depending on the level of need. But if you or your parents can afford it, and your parents do not yet wish to leave their home, this can be a very good option to let your parents live in their home for as long as possible, especially if neither of them need constant care. If your parent does need constant medical care, a nursing home or retirement community might be their only option if neither of you can afford to hire a private at-home nursing service. Another option might be to get your parent a roommate – someone who can help them out around the house and in return have a place to stay.
2. Nursing Home, Retirement Home or Retirement Living Community
The above options are all similar and only differ based on the level of care, with nursing homes offering the most intensive care and a retirement living community providing the most independent living spaces. Placing your parent in a nursing home is generally not ideal unless you are simply unable to take care of them, they cannot live on their own and they require constant medical attention. That being said, if your parent does require constant nursing and medical attention, a traditional nursing home is likely the right choice. If your parent does not require constant medical attention at this time, a retirement home or retirement living community is probably your best option. These facilities range in how independent they are, with retirement homes providing more independent living than nursing homes and retirement living communities (which usually consist of apartments or condos) being the most independent. If you're not sure which level would be best for your parent, visit several facilities in your area and talk to the residents to get a better idea.
3. Moving In With You
If at-home care isn't an option, and a retirement community or nursing home is not what either of you want, your parents could also come to live with you. This is not something you should try and do if your parent has a medical issue that you are unqualified to care for. You should also know where to draw the line and not let your parent interfere too heavily with you being able to live your own life. However, this may be the best option financially if your parent simply cannot afford another option, and you are willing and able to take them in. If you choose this option, financial and personal boundaries will need to be established so resentment or other issues don't brew and simmer.
These three options are the most common to choose from when selecting a care option for your aging parents. There are pros and cons of each, but the decision should really come down to how much care your aging parents need, what lifestyle they want and what you think is really best for them. If or when your parents' conditions deteriorate, they can always be moved into a different style of living.