Your grandmother lived to be 100.
Your father is currently 84.
Your father is still living in his own home and doing many of the things that he has always enjoyed. He goes over town for coffee most mornings and plays cards with the same regulars. When he leaves his card game he crosses the street to pick up the morning mail. He then climbs back into his truck or his golf cart and drops the mail by the house. what he does next has likely been determined by a discussion with the card playing group. Sometimes he heads out of town with a friend to a farm auction that has been advertised at the post office. Sometimes he heads over to the other side of town to set out the hoses to water a new set of trees that he has planted. No matter what he does, he makes his own decisions.
The Freedom of Living in Your Own Home
The freedom your father experiences at age 84 is pretty similar to the freedom your grandmother had until she was 94. Blessed with good health and strong bodies, both your father and grandmother benefitted from living in a small rural town. Small enough that everyone knows each other and knows who to ask when they need help with tilling a garden or watching the barn cats should you go out of town.
Although they have many similarities, your grandmother had one advantage that your father does not. When your grandmother was still living in her own house she had your father coming by two to three times a day to make sure that all was well. Through your father’s attention and care, your grandmother was able to live in her own home until the last few years of her life. You father, however, does not have that same advantage. And while the small town often sees what help is needed outside of the home, other factors about living alone as you age are more difficult to monitor.
Instead of living across town, you live a little more than 200 miles from where your dad lives. You can not drop by two or three times a day to make sure that he is eating right. To see if he is able to care for himself, pick up after himself, and just how well he is doing at living independently. You have tried to bring up these topics with your father, but these are difficult discussions to have.
Are You Looking for In Home Care for Your Aging Parents?
Although they may not be part of the small towns in rural America, you do not have to drive far in large cities to see the latest trend in elderly care. Memory care centers and assisted living communities are common in many large cities and communities. And while many families still look at in home care options for elderly parents, the trend seems to be moving family members into communities that provide both medical care and social opportunities.
Senior care options continue to expand as the U.S. prepares to deal with an anticipated growth in the number of people with symptoms of dementia and symptoms of Alzheimers. In fact, Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth leading cause of death in America. Statistics indicate that one in three seniors pass away with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It should come as no surprise then that the health care system continues to look for the best ways to care for these patients who experience moderate to severe memory loss.
Although in home care for aging family members can sometimes be an option, many families who live far from their aging parents find that other options are more comforting. In fact, some assisted living communities provide home care services that progress as the resident’s needs change.
Unfortunately, while it may be easy to research and read about the options for the care that aging parents may need, discussing those options with your parents can be more difficult. And while many adult children understand that these discussions are better had long before they are needed, the topic can still be uncomfortable. Small, frequent conversations, however, can help break the ice for the bigger topics that must eventually be addressed.
Long Term Care Involves Advanced Planning
Your grandmother lived to be 100.