Creating a Long-Term Care Plan for Your Senior Relative
The busyness of our everyday lives often makes it difficult to regularly visit family. 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 care of themselves? What are the best options to keep a senior relative safe and comfortable? And perhaps more than anything - how do you start the process?
As we age, so too do all 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 is serious and what is not. Here are a few signs you should never ignore:
- Rapid weight loss. A rapid loss of weight in your senior relative should send up 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 can all be indicators that the task of feeding themselves is becoming overwhelming to your senior relative.
- Driving infractions. It could be a problem with their eyesight or a sign of cognitive decline, but either way, traffic violations indicate your senior relative may be having trouble on the road. If possible, try allowing your senior relative to 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 your relative is unable to care for their finances. It could be a matter of financial hardship, or it could be cognitive problems making the mathematics of bill-paying difficult.
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 senior relative with options, reach out to the family and form a consensus. Assign tasks to different family members in order to avoid having one family member bear the entire burden. One family member 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. 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.