How to Plan for a Parent’s Nursing Home Care
We’ve all seen the commercials on TV that urge us to pre-plan our funerals. When you think about it, though, many frequently consider nursing home care more essential than burial or cremation.
First, recognizing that placing a beloved one in a nursing home is a frequent problem may be beneficial. Every year, millions of people similar to you confront this issue. Over one-third of Americans, aged 65 and older will require nursing home care at some time during their life span. That means you’re not alone in dealing with it, and it also implies that there are numerous resources available to assist and advise you.
The next time you’re at your parents’ house for dinner or a holiday celebration, try striking up a conversation that has nothing to do with nursing home care. Ask them about their favorite holiday lighting display in town or the most recent golf tournament they watched on TV. Try to do this a couple of times before moving forward with a more complicated topic, so your parent is not immediately dismissive, combative, or otherwise discouraged.
These types of innocuous discussions will help you get to know your parents better and establish an atmosphere of trust so that when it comes time to have “the talk” – about nursing home care – you’ll be able to broach sensitive topics without fear of seeming pushy. So now that you’ve got your parents talking, here are some nursing home care questions to ask:
Practical Nursing Home Care Questions:
– Where do you see yourself retiring? (If they don’t currently live in a nursing home)
– What type of nursing home would be best for you? (For example, skilled nursing facility or long term care community)
– How much does the nursing home cost per day, and what is included in this price?
Emotional Nursing Home Care Questions:
– If something were to happen to you, can I handle it emotionally, financially, and physically?
– Do we have a good relationship – will you feel comfortable asking me for help if necessary?
Getting The Correct Documents is Important
To make the nursing home care legal, you’ll need to sign a document called a “power of attorney.” This document will authorize you as your parent’s nursing home care agent. Talk with them about this document and how it will change your relationship if they’ve named you as their agent. For example, does giving nursing homes power of attorney mean that you control all their assets? Can they still see a lawyer or doctor without going through you first? How will financial decisions be made if both of them can’t agree?
Talking about nursing home care doesn’t have to be scary. As long as you keep your parents in the loop and give them choices where you can, nursing home care questions shouldn’t be an issue for them or their family members.
Other adult children discover themselves caring for parents they never got along with well or dealing with various family issues, while you may have a fantastic relationship with your parents.
These difficulties are all too familiar. A support group, long-term care manager, or a family pastor, priest, or rabbi may be able to assist you in resolving issues with your parents. Individual counseling can also be beneficial for many people.
Working With Your Parents and Siblings
It’s in your best interests to be proactive. The more study and planning you do now, the better off you’ll be later. If an emergency arises that requires you to make quick judgments; you’ll be better prepared if you plan ahead of time when it comes time to decide between putting a parent in a nursing home; making decisions should not feel rushed. The most satisfactory outcomes are usually the result of thorough collaboration between parents and their adult children.
If you find yourself with additional questions, we implore you to contact our office so we can act as your guide and provide meaningful answers.
You can schedule a consultation by calling 509-328-2150 or by visiting our contact page. Additionally, many people would do well to attend one of our FREE Estate Planning seminars (with a parent) to understand better the issues we’ve discussed in this article.
Check out this helpful resource page from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services website that lists a wealth of articles and suggestions about how to go about the process of caring for your elderly parents.