A: Even though most of us think about what we’d prefer if we could no longer be self-sufficient, we are typically stymied about what to do when that time actually arrives. Families can significantly reduce inevitable stress if they have “that talk” before they reach that time. Ideally “that talk” will include all family members and will consider each person’s unique contribution. Most importantly, the talk will explore what is important for your parents’ quality of life — because it will be different for everyone.
Although 55 percent of Americans say they don’t want to impose on their family if they become unable to care for themselves, an estimated 66 million Americans serve as unpaid caregivers for adult family members (2010 study by Genworth and AgeWave). Advance preparation can alleviate the burden on seniors’ families, especially when preparation includes exploration of care options.
Assisted living is a care option that is often overlooked, but can provide a balanced solution to the need for both independence and support. Assisted living communities provide seniors with private apartments with planned activities and around-the-clock professional support. This includes personalized assistance with bathing, transferring, dressing, house cleaning, laundry, cooking and managing medication. It’s like being treated like royalty in your own home.
Information provided by Carol Olson, community relations coordinator, Cedar Point, 6132 N.E. 12th Ave., Pleasant Hill. 515-285-9108.