Aging in place is a great thing for many people as they grow older. It is comforting to stay in familiar surroundings surrounded by familiar things. Additionally, the measure of independence that aging in place provides can help to keep an aging parent mentally focused. However, in some cases, your parents may find aging in place to be disadvantageous and a structured or assisted living facility may be a better choice.
If your parent has specific medical issues that require constant or consistent monitoring, these can be a disadvantage. An example of this is Type II Diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar gets more difficult with age, and the consequences are dire. Insulin shots can also be tricky for an aging parent. Daily medications can also raise issues. While pillboxes are great for organizing these medications, remembering to take them in the first place is a commonplace issue.
Making your parent’s home safe for them to continue to age in place can be time consuming and cost prohibitive. Depending on how easily your parent can get around, renovations can cost thousands of dollars. If your parents’ home will need extensive renovations, there is also the time factor involved. The time needed to find a contractor and have the changes made can run into weeks. The disruption to your parents’ lives while the actual work is ongoing is also stressful and is certainly a disadvantage.
Your parent may be aging in place with no problems, but then have an accident or get ill. This change in their life can cause some disadvantages for them and you. If your parent has recently broken a bone, this will limit their mobility. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can hamper their daily living activities. Activities that your parents could do without aid are now difficult. Getting dressed, going to the bathroom, moving from room to room, or even getting out of bed may present problems.
How to Transition
Making the decision to transition your parents from their normal independence of aging in place to a retirement community or even a full-time care facility is never easy. It requires that you take a hard look at their living situation and honestly evaluate what their capabilities are. If your parent does not need full-time care, then a feasible option is getting an assistant or companion for them. This decision also allows your parents to remain in their homes and gives you the peace of mind knowing that a professional is there to assist them when you cannot.
In the end, aging in place is a decision more and more aging families are making for themselves and their parents. There are disadvantages to this, however. Making the right decision for you and your parents requires that you are able to evaluate not just the living environment. You must also honestly evaluate what your parents are capable of doing for themselves and what they need assistance with. Once you lay out all of the advantages and disadvantages, you and your parents can come to a decision that will be right for both of you.
Whatever you decide, a medical alert system from Pioneer Emergency can help keep your loved ones safe. Call us at 1-800-274-8264 to learn more.