It can be difficult to bring long term care options to the table with your parents. In order to choose the best option for your parents without taking away from their opinions, there are several steps you can take.
Consider all options
When you first begin the long term care process, your parents’ options may seem very limited. Despite how limited the options may seem, you should be sure to consider all available options and actively look for more options that may be available. Each option should be given equal consideration and research in order to ensure your mom and dad receive the best care option for their situation.
Know the needs
In order to choose the best care option or facility, you must know where your parents’ needs lie. Do they require medical assistance or only non-medical care? Make a list of things they require care or assistance doing. How many times a day do they need help? It is important to know what type of care you are looking for before you go looking for a provider.
Listen to opinions
While it may be easy for you alone to decide which option is best for your parents, make sure you listen to their opinions and concerns. If your immediate thought is to take advantage of a long term care facility in the area, but your parents do not want to live in a facility, other options should be discussed and given precedence. Opinions and ideas of other family members should also be considered.
Make pro/con lists
It may be difficult to see the positive or negative aspects of all the care options and to keep them straight in your head. Making pro and con lists for each can be extremely helpful. Allow your parents and other family members to create or add to your pro/con lists in order to get a thorough picture from each viewpoint.
Test the options
If you are considering a long term care facility, test it out. Don’t just look at their website and gather what information they have provided, take your parents to the location. This will help them get a feel for the area and see if they are comfortable there, along with giving you a chance to see how actual clients live in the facility. You and your parents can also ask questions about the facility and the care that takes place there.
Give time to process
Beginning long term care is a big change and often a scary time in an individual’s life. While it is important to discuss needs and options with your parents, you should be sure to give them time to process and ask questions if they have them. You should not expect this decision to be made overnight or even in the time-span of a week. Be patient with your parents. This is not a decision that comes lightly, as it will affect their living situation likely for the rest of their lives.
No matter which option your family chooses in the end, it is important to make sure you are on the same page throughout the process.