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Taking Care of Mom and Dad


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Taking Care of Mom and Dad

At the beginning of your life, your parents take care of you, but when you reach middle age, the tables turn, and you need to take care of your parents. That can involve helping your parents to find an assisted living facility or a nursing home. To quickly explain, assisted living is independent living with a bit of extra help such as a group lunch room or an emergency alert system in each apartment. A nursing home, in contrast, provides comprehensive care for patients with a wide range of issues from dementia to arthritis. This blog is designed to help you make those tough decisions. It's also going to include posts on home health care, staying in touch with relatives in nursing homes, and more. I wish you the best through this sometimes difficult part of the journey with your parents.

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When Granny Pods Fail: Choosing The Next Step

A very popular option for keeping elderly and aging relatives close, "granny pods" have begun popping up in backyards all over the country. There are just two problems with this care option. One, city zoning does not always permit it, especially in smaller cities where zoning commissions are concerned that it will become a problem and properties not zoned for "two-family" living situations will become rental situations. Two, when something happens to your elderly parents, and you realize that you cannot be present all the time, you know that you have to make a different decision about assisted living arrangements. The following highlights some of the potential issues that may arise from the latter problem and what your next steps are. 

Dementia Increases and So Does Wandering Behavior

There are too many news stories that tell of elderly people with severe dementia wandering out and away from their homes and into extremely frigid or overly hot and humid conditions. By the time someone notices that these people were missing, they were already out in the freezing cold or blistering heat for too long. By the time they are found, they have usually passed away from heatstroke or hypothermia. The more severe the dementia, the more the wandering behavior tends to increase. 

The first time one or both of your elderly parents wanders away from the granny pod you built in your backyard, you may not be home to monitor what happens. By the time you return, your parent(s) may be blocks and blocks away. If it becomes a regular thing, the police may insist that you either hire an outside caregiver for those times when you are not home yourself or allow the state to take custody of your parents for your parents' own safety. 

Security Measures Are Necessary

Anyone trespassing through your yard might become curious about the tiny house in your yard. They may try to break in or peek through the windows. This is as dangerous as your parents wandering off. It puts your parents in potential jeopardy, especially if the trespasser thinks they can get something from your parents. You would either have to have a ton of security measures built into the pod or resort to placing your parents someplace safer.

An Assisted Living Facility for Elderly People with Dementia

All things considered, when you cannot be the 24/7 caregiver to your parents and it has become clear that that is what they need to be safe, assisted living facilities are the next step. These facilities still allow your parents to do as much for themselves as possible while keeping a very close eye on them. It also prevents them from wandering, which becomes a bigger concern later on.

For more information about assisted living facilities, contact a company like VibraLife of Katy.