What Do I Do When I Can’t Take Care of Dad Anymore?

What Do I Do When I Can’t Take Care of Dad Anymore?

It’s time for you to make the decision whether dad (or mom) has to move from his house to senior housing or a care facility. The decision has been a long time in making and is one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever had to make. The father you remember is energetic, quick-witted, in good health, and strong. However, the man standing in front of you is frail, not able to remember to match his socks, and seems unable to focus on simple tasks. You feel you just can’t take care of dad and can no longer meet his needs.

As you discuss the possible options and the final decision, dad tries desperately to convince you that he can manage on his own. He then asks if he can live with you. Neither are appropriate options. If this sounds like you, know that you’re not alone.

The following is some advice about making this kind of decision and how to live with it as a caregiver and daughter or son.

  • Involve your dad in the decision if at all possible. It will make it easier for him to adjust if he feels he had some control and input into his future. Remember…it’s his life.
  • Once a decision is made, make sure he has a schedule that is easy to follow including regular visits from family and friends (if he is not living with you).
  • Don’t feel you must visit every single day…a day or two off a week is essential for your own mental health and sanity.
  • Don’t forget him when celebrate the holidays or take family vacations. He’s still a member of your family.
  • Make sure he feels welcomed no matter where he is.
  • Make sure he is able to maintain a regular medication schedule and doesn’t miss a dose.
  • Confirm if he is still keeping his medical appointments (doctor, dentist, and optometrist, etc.). You may even want to take him to his appointments, so you know what’s going on firsthand.
  • You might want to have him get a psychological evaluation or talk with a therapist transitions can sometimes be hard.
  • Help your father bring easy care and easy-dress clothing when he moves.
  • Stay reachable by mobile phone and see if someone else will visit him when you can’t.
  • Get to know the staff and make sure they know you. It will be important as your dad continues to need care and support. Facility staff and doctors may be more willing to help if they know you personally.
  • Don’t feel guilty. You are making the best decision you can and only have your dad’s best interest in mind.
  • Take time for yourself – “me time.” Get a manicure or pedicure, go to the movies, have a glass of wine.
  • Remember to let yourself off the hook for the decision you had to make or help your dad make. You made the best decision you could. Your dad’s welfare is important.

Again, know that you are not alone with this decision-making process. This can be a natural part of life. When you feel you can’t take care of a parent any longer, remember that you are trying to do what is best for your dad and yourself at the same time, and that’s OK. It will take a little time to adjust, so try to be patient.

What To Do When Aging Parents Won’t Follow Your Advice

What To Do When Aging Parents Won’t Follow Your Advice

If you’re struggling with aging parents who refuse help, you’re far from alone. According to a recent study conducted by Penn State University, a whopping 77% of adult children believe their parents are stubborn about taking their advice or getting help with daily tasks. Fortunately, the situation isn’t hopeless.

How do you get your aging parents to listen to you?

It’s not uncommon for adult children to make numerous suggestions about improving their parents’ quality of life only to consistently be turned down. Aging care and health professionals recommend the following steps to relieve the resentment and anxiety that can accompany caring for aging parents and loved ones:

  • Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior

Aging is a difficult process for virtually everyone. Many older adults are living with dementia or mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Taking time to understand how your parents might be feeling can help you communicate with them better. Realizing that your parents’ autonomy is important to them can be beneficial. As your yourself some key questions about your loved one’s behavior:

Are their actions –

  • Due to force of habit?
  • To assert independence?
  • Due to depression?
  • Because they’re confused or have dementia?

What are they mostly afraid of?

Identifying the root cause, or causes, of your parents’ behavior can help you identify the best way to make positive changes.

  • Accept the situation

While you might wish you could control your elderly parents for their own good, the reality is you can’t force them to do anything. Your parents are adults with the right to make decisions even poor ones. Accepting this fact as hard as it is at times can help lower your stress and even improve your relationship with your mother and/or father.

  • Pick and choose your battles

People don’t respond well to nagging, real or perceived. In the long run, it might help your case to stop insisting your parents update their phones, join a fitness class, or complete other beneficial, but non-essential tasks. Instead, decide what issues are the most important and focus on them at least initially. Matters involving your parents’ safety, for instance, should take top priority. But remember, they’re much more likely to take your concerns seriously if you don’t bombard them with several at once, no matter how valid they may be.

  • Treat your aging parents like adults

While it may feel as if you and your parents have switched roles at times, they’re still your parents, and want to be treated with respect. Dealing with a stubborn parent is not the same as dealing with a stubborn child. Older people should be autonomous. When it comes to dealing with aging parents, remember this: above all, the goal is to help your parents receive the best care possible. Avoid infantilizing your parents! You’re much more likely to get positive results by treating your aging parents like the adults they are. This goes for simple tasks, such as helping your parents remember to take their medications, and harder tasks, like helping them get treatment for diabetes.

  • Ask them to do if for the kids (or grandkids)

If mom isn’t willing to change her behavior for herself, maybe she will for a loved one. Another approach to dealing with aging parents is to be direct about how it affects you. Communicate your worries to your parent and explain how your anxieties will be tempered if he or she follows your advice.

  • Find an outlet for your feelings.

If you’re angry or resentful that your elderly parent refuses to move to a safer living situation or take their medication as directed, it’s important to vent but not to your parents. Instead, confide in, or strategize with a friend, sibling, therapist, online support group, or senior living advisor. This is especially important if you are the primary caregiver to your aging parents.

No matter how deeply you care about your mom and dad, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with frustration, fear, and anxiety when constantly dealing with their irrational behavior. Guard against this by caring for yourself and finding activities to help release negative emotions.

  • Plan ahead and talk about those plans

Even if your parent has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, living with any kind of memory loss can be very difficult for seniors to deal with, or even acknowledge. Helping your aging parents remember important dates eases frustration for everyone. Is there a family celebration they want to attend that’s coming up, such as an anniversary, graduation, or wedding? Bring it up. Talk about it frequently. Share in the excite together.

What do you do when an elderly parent refuses needed care?

Ironically, you should listen.

By paying attention to your aging parents’ needs and heeding the advice of health professionals, you can make dealing with aging parents less stressful for everyone even if Mom and Dad don’t always listen to you.

Is Now an OK Time to Move Your Loved One to Assisted Living?

Is Now an OK Time to Move Your Loved One to Assisted Living?

With All the Pandemic Concerns, Is Now an OK Time to Move Your Loved One to Assisted Living?

The short answer is, yes! An assisted living community can provide significant advantages to older adults who are feeling isolated and would benefit from extra support with activities of daily living or families who are struggling with caregiver burnout.

An Assisted Living Community Surrounds Your Loved One with Experts

You are definitely an expert when it comes to knowing your loved one. However, you may not be trained and educated on taking care of them. The staff and administrative team at assisted living communities have extensive backgrounds in the type of work needed to make sure your loved one feels at home while also receiving the best possible care.

Additionally, staff in assisted living communities have now had months of training and experience in creating a safe environment during the pandemic. There is no doubt you trying as hard as you can to do the same, but it’s unlikely that you have access to the same type of resources found in assisted living communities. At The Classic, our care staff are kept totally up-to-date with pertinent guidance and protocols surrounding Covid-19. Our care teams are continually adapting to appropriate information based on the latest information provided by the Department of Health Services, the Centers of Disease Control, and City-County Health Department. You can rest assured knowing your loved one is receiving the best care possible.

Caretakers Have Less Chance of Being Exposed

If you or other family members have been taking care of your loved one, it is safe to say that is not your only responsibility. You may be working from home, but you still have to leave occasionally and risk exposure. While the virus may not substantially affect you, you could still pass it along to your loved one even if you are trying to be careful. At The Classic, we continue to implement rigorous virus sanitizing protocols daily. The City-County Health Department continues to direct our actions. Resident’s temperatures are taken twice a day and our care teams are vigilantly monitoring all signs and symptoms for everyone who lives and works in our community.

Your Loved One Will Have More Resources to Ride Out the Pandemic

Social distancing has been difficult for everyone, introverts and extroverts alike. Older adults were already at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation before the pandemic, and that risk has only risen in the past few months. You want your loved one to be socially active, but it can be difficult to do that safely right now if they live alone.

Some older adults rely heavily on restaurants for their meals and do not cook for themselves. While restrictions have eased a bit in some part of the country, some elders may simply not feel comfortable going out to eat. In an assisted living community, residents have access to chef-planned and prepared meals every day. Housekeeping and linen service, medication management, transportation to medical appointments are just some of the services offered by senior living communities like The Classic.

Vital Social Connection

A neighborhood of potential friends is part of an assisted living community. At The Classic, our goal is to strike balances between the crucial need to maintain physical health with mental health leading to happiness.

During this unprecedented time, our Life Enrichment team is finding creative ways to keep residents active while keeping them safe and connected with their families in ways that feel fulfilling.

How the Virus Affects Your Decision

Ultimately, the pandemic should not affect your decision to move or not move. It should, however, affect how you move.

In other words, if you would consider moving your loved one to an assisted living community before the pandemic, or would be considering it, then odds are you should still be considering this now. You just need to consider if the older adult in your life would feel safer and more supported in an assisted living community.

We are here to help you navigate this important decision. Learn more about our unique assisted living community has to offer at: https://www.theclassichg.com/living-options/assisted-living/.