21 Sep Shifting The Burden Of Care: Assisted Living Facility Closures Mean Children Must Care For Their Parents
Over the last six months, assisted living facilities across the US have had to shut down their operations, sending millions of seniors back home to their families. With assisted living facilities expected to remain closed for many months to come, a lot of relatives of seniors who were previously living in the facilities, especially the children, are resigning to the fact that they may have to take care of their parents from now on. Although most of them lack the experience or qualifications required to take on a caregiver’s job, they are making changes to their lifestyles and finding ways to ensure that their elderly parents are safe, happy and healthy the entire time.
Choosing where they’ll stay
The first challenge that many children are facing is finding a place for their parents to stay. Children whose parents still own their old homes have no problem since they can just move them back in. But, before doing so, they have to make certain alterations to ensure that their parents are safe, happy and comfortable in their old home. This includes ensuring that the home is modified appropriately to suit their needs, such as by installing handrails to offer support, getting them a pet to ward off loneliness, and installing various assistive technologies to make their life easier. Children of parents who no longer own a home or require closer attention can move them into a spare room in their home or build them a granny flat in their backyard. The popularity of granny flats has shot up recently, as adult children look for a way to keep their elderly parents close while still maintaining their independence.
Getting them insurance coverage
As parents grow older, they face more risks in their day-to-day lives. This is where insurance comes in; by buying the right insurance, children and their parents can rest easy knowing that they’ll be covered if any of those risks happen. For example, since elderly parents face a higher risk of developing health issues, having adequate health insurance is vital as it covers the cost of health care and ensures that they can get medical help whenever they need it. Similarly, a life insurance policy for parents will give them peace of mind since any financial debts, medical bills and funeral expenses they leave when they’re gone will be covered.
Keeping them fit
Physical exercise is vital for seniors. On top of helping them maintain their fitness and ward off various illnesses, exercise boosts the mental health of seniors by relieving the common issues they face such as depression, stress and anxiety. One of the key roles that children have is to ensure that their parents get their daily dose of exercise. However, not all types of exercise are suitable for seniors, and children must come up with a workout program that works for their unique parent. For example, even if a senior is in good physical shape, high-intensity exercises such as lifting heavy weights and running may end up doing more harm than good. Instead, they can opt for low-intensity but highly effective workouts like walking and yoga. Those with physical limitations can also benefit from chair and water exercises.
Difficult as it may be, the time has come for children to take over the roles that were previously held by assisted living facilities of caring for their elderly parents. With no one to pass on the responsibility to, children must make the sacrifices and adjustments needed to ensure that all their parents’ needs are taken care of so that they can enjoy their golden years.
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