People between the ages of 50 and 70 often find themselves assuming the role of caretaker between their own children, grandchildren, and their aging parents. These baby boomers have become health care decision makers for their parents, and sudden life-threatening events can demand immediate attention and responsibility. Ruth W. Cocker, an author and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy, offers some tips on how to navigate decision-making strategies in an aging parent’s time of need.
- Start with a complete medical evaluation, including both medical and cognitive status.
- Determine the signs that rule out living alone. There are options available for assistance if your loved one can stay in their own home, such as home health aides or people who can provide homemaking services.
- Consider the next level of care that might be soon approaching, especially if your parent has the financial resources.
- Anticipate both increased care needs and decreased financial resources. Is it possible that your loved one might outlive their savings and need long-term care?
- Investigate all possibilities. Speak to friends and coworkers about their experience.
- When considering a facility, observe the other residents and how they are dressed. Will your parent feel at home with these people?