My Parents Need Different Levels of Care Needs. What Should I Do?

It’s a fact of life that we all age. And as we age things about us change, things like physical strength, stamina, memory, mental acuity, and so on. If you’re an adult child who’s watching their parents age, you may notice that they have very different ability levels and needs. Perhaps one is very capable of living independently while the other’s mental or physical abilities are severely impaired. What can you do?

There are several possible solutions. What will fit your family’s situation best is up to you and your parents to decide. You’ll need a series of honest conversations about your concerns and perceptions and your parents’ perspectives in order to find a solution that will work.

Here is information about possible solutions and information you can use in your conversations.

In-Home Care

With home care, your parents stay in their home or move to an independent living facility. You (or your parents) hire a home care provider who gives each parent appropriate help based on their individual needs. Usually, this type of care centers on help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing or using the bathroom, as well as chores around the house.  This option allows your parents to age in place together.

Sometimes the more able parent is currently providing care to the other parent; however, this situation can be unsafe and stressful. Having a home care aide relieves these burdens and gives the caregiving parent the freedom to get out and stay connected.

When caring for a house is too difficult for parents and family, moving into an independent living facility can be a good solution.

Independent Living

An independent living facility frees elders from the responsibilities of maintaining a home. Often, these communities offer classes, clubs, activities, and other opportunities for socializing. Most independent living communities offer easy access to home care. Make sure this is true for any you consider.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities usually have different care levels for different individual needs. This can be a great solution for couples whose care needs differ. Some assisted living communities provide customized care services for more advanced needs, letting your parents stay together, even if one parent’s needs change.

Enhanced Assisted Living

While very similar to assisted living options, enhanced assisted living refers to a higher level of care when it comes to personal and medical support services. Home of the Good Shepherd’s Enhanced Assisted Living services include additional skilled nursing observation, regular incontinence care, continuous medical equipment management, and more. Enhanced senior living options also staff at a higher level which allows more time for staff interaction with the residents.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on The Differences Between Assisted Living & Enhanced Assisted Living

Memory care

A memory care community is designed to meet the special needs of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Memory care facilities may be part of an assisted living community or nursing home. If one parent has dementia, the other parent could live in the related assisted living community or nursing home, making it easier for them to visit.

Continuing Care Communities

Continuing care communities incorporate independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care on a single campus. This means seniors can simply move from one building to another without having to adjust to a new community. Spouses may not be able to live in the same building; however, they’ll be close and can see one another.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer when needs differ. Discuss the alternatives lovingly with your parents. And be patient. It may take time to agree on a solution.

Home of the Good Shepherd Communities Offers a Range of Care

Home of the Good Shepherd provides a range of care services, including assisted living, enhanced assisted living, and memory care, throughout Saratoga County. If you’re exploring assisted living options for yourself or a family member, we invite you to schedule a tour today and take the first step toward securing a vibrant and caring future for your loved ones.