What’s Involved with ElderCare Planning?

Elder care planning can be quite overwhelming, especially in the beginning stages.  Where does one start?  Who do you talk to?  Is this something you have to do on your own, or is there help?  What do I need to plan for exactly?  These are all valid questions that come up when thrown into the whirlwind of accepting that an elder loved one needs help.

Eldercare planning involves a thoughtful consideration of a person’s current and anticipated care needs and coming up with a plan of all the resources (both paid and unpaid) that will come together in fulfilling that person’s total needs.  Eldercare planning helps map out what actions need to take place to care for your loved one and how to address unexpected contingencies.  There are many aspects of care, from making a senior’s home safer to bringing in full-time nursing care or home support.  One may have to learn how to navigate the private and public health care systems, and evaluate what type of housing or home care services are available and what resources are best for the senior.

Where to Start?

If aging-in-place is what the senior wants (meaning he or she does not want to move), then the best place to start is at the senior’s home.  Is it safe?  What daily activities can the senior do or no longer able to do?  Is it a matter of installing hand rails, or overhauling a whole washroom?  Assessing a senior’s current and reasonably anticipated physical and mental capabilities will be a part of the care planning.  

Once the home environment has been assessed, what type of care is required?  Is it a whole team of caregivers?  Or the occasional help a few times a week? Home care often starts with help with home cleanings and house chores.  Meal preparation and medication reminders are also very common tasks for professional caregivers to help seniors with.  If full-time care is needed including weekends, one may need to  build a  team of caregivers, in order to avoid caregiver burnout.

But what if aging at home isn’t the right solution?  Selecting the right seniors residence will be dependent on location, amenities and services included, finances and type of care provided.  It is best to do some research in advance, go on some tours and talk to your financial planner. It is also important to understand the differences between housing options in the private-pay sector vs. options that are subsidized by the public health authority.  

Is moving your senior into your home an option?  If so, are you 100% responsible for care, or is it shared with siblings or other members of the family?  There may be home support services available from the public health authority that could be helpful and reduce the pressure on family members.

It can be quite a change to move from home to another living space, so you can expect that some uncomfortable feelings will develop with your senior, such as resistance, feeling loss of independence, resentment towards children, feeling neglected or like a burden.  Preparing for these discussions ahead of time is necessary.

Eldercare Planning is an Evolving Art

Once you have a care plan formulated, don’t expect it to be set in stone.  As seniors’ age , new issues may pop up which can include further physical limitations, cognitive issues, emotional problems and even social problems.  You may need to tweak your care plan to address any new issues that come up, especially if there is a diagnosed condition that requires increasing care as the condition progresses.

With cognitive or mental health problems, what may have started out as isolation or depression can evolve into personality changes, mood swings or aggression, so your care plan will need to add in additional features such as safety for the caregiver and for the senior.  With a decline in health, it is natural to start experiencing sadness and even stress over the loss of independence.  Loneliness and isolation can be felt acutely by the senior, even in a room full of family.  

Being cut off from a social life after retirement is a fear many seniors feel, but that doesn’t have to happen.  Isolation can lead to more debilitating issues for the senior, so keeping a healthy social life is important for well-being.

Still Not Sure?

We get it! There’s so many moving pieces when it comes to elder care planning, that it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to pin down everything.  But Home to Home Advisory Services can help.  If you prefer help, along with a shoulder to lean on occasionally, we can help you come up with the right plan for your senior and can help address any unexpected health crisis that may come up in the future.  Assisting families in planning care and transitioning seniors is what we do best, and what we love to do.

Reach out to us today and let’s talk.

Tel: 604-739-8080


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