Creating a Long-Term Care Plan for Your Senior Relative
Our busy everyday lives often make it difficult to visit family regularly. Keeping up with senior relatives may be especially difficult in these times. If you’ve recently visited a senior relative and been concerned about what you observed, you probably have questions.
What are the signs a senior relative can’t take care of themselves? What are the best options to keep them safe and comfortable? And perhaps more than anything - how do you start the process?
As we age, so do our elder relatives. Almost all of us have wondered if the behavior changes we’ve witnessed in senior relatives warrant our intervention. It can be difficult to gauge what's serious and what's not. Here are a few signs you should never ignore:
- Rapid weight loss. Rapid loss of weight in your senior relative should raise red flags for a few reasons. It could be a symptom of a wasting illness. It could also be a sign that your senior relative is not up to the task of shopping and cooking for themselves. Is the refrigerator empty? Are there signs of heat damage on the stove? These, too, can be indicators that the task of feeding themselves is becoming overwhelming.
- Driving infractions. Traffic tickets could be a sign of eyesight problems or a sign of cognitive decline, but either way, traffic violations indicate that your senior relative may be having trouble on the road. If possible, try rifing with them allowing your senior relativeto drive you somewhere and gauge for yourself.
- Unpaid bills. Finding stacks of unopened mail around your senior relative’s home or receiving collections calls could indicate that they are unable to care for their finances. It could be financial hardship, or cognitive problems making bill paying difficult, but either way your help is likely needed.
If you recognize someone you love in these descriptions, what do you do next?
Fortunately, there are a multitude of options available for senior care that don’t deprive your senior relative of their joy and independence. These options include in-home caregiving, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Before approaching your relative with options, reach out to the family and form a consensus. Assign tasks to different family members to avoid having one family member bear the entire burden. One can tour care facilities while another reviews assets and income. Consider hiring an attorney specializing in elder law who can help your family navigate Medicaid eligibility and estate planning. Once a solid plan is in place, approach your senior relative with an open, warm tone. Avoid forcing them into a decision they don’t want to make. Work with them in a way that makes adding long-term care a mutual, intuitive decision.
Hillside Terrace provides a variety of options for elderly care in Ann Arbor. Our memory care facility includes hourly wellness checks, escorts to meals and activities and medication administration by licensed, professional nurses 1-3 times daily. Our independent living community offers bi-weekly shopping trips, family-style dining, and 24/7 monitoring by nurses and emergency maintenance. Our long-term care facilities provide three chef-prepared meals a day, medication administration by nurses 1-3 times daily, and weekly housekeeping and laundry services based on lifestyle options.
Whatever type of elderly care your senior relative needs, Hillside Terrace is happy to provide it. Hillside Terrace abides by an “aging by choice” philosophy. Our team of professionals can help you and your family execute a perfect plan of care for your senior relative. Contact us at 734-761-4451 or schedule a tour and get the answers you want today. At Hillside Terrace, we care for your family as we would our own.