If you have ever thought those words, you are not alone. As our parents age, their children find themselves “exploring” options where Mom or Dad will live? I call this the PAINT BY NUMBER experience. We are given a lot of lessons in life, but one that we are ill prepared for is the role of decision maker for our parents. We have always looked to our parents for guidance in all major decisions, where to go to school, where to live or purchase a new home, how to care for our children and what are the best jobs options available. We look up to our parents and see them as wise and strong.
The once strong parent is now forgetful, unsteady on their feet, losing weight and making perhaps some decisions that are not in their best interest.

An element that is interesting is, because we respect our parent, we never want to “put” them away in some awful place, we want to respect and honor their wishes that we will never move them out of their home and lastly we will let them continue to make decisions, after all that is your Mom and/or Dad.
As seniors age gracefully into the extraordinary ages of 90’s and 100’s it is normal to be concerned about their safety and wellbeing. We put grab bars in the bathroom, we have someone check on them, we arrange for meals to be delivered, we speak to them every week and they sound good, perhaps a bit repetitive on the questions, we simply ignore some of the signs of aging. Only when an event happens, such as they are not answering the phone, or they are taken to the hospital because they fell do we suddenly pay attention, needing to find help?
There is simply no reason to feel any guilt over this, you have done everything right, you respected their wishes to say in a home they love and have lived in for decades.
When we realize how frail our parent , we suddenly have the need to find the RIGHT PLACE, would that be an Assisted Living, A skilled nursing home, a Board and Care facility or in home help.
Never before did we know about these choices and it becomes the focus of our lives. The right place must be found. Everyone has a special Mom or Dad with special needs and you want those needs to be met. Will they serve the kind of food mom likes, will they help Dad with showering and shaving, can they assist transferring from bed to wheelchair.
The biggest question will be how I will pay for this?
Before it gets to the emergency stage, it is important to know the finances available to your parents which will make your search easier. We do not even look at a tangible item like a car without knowing our budget, thus knowing the budget of what is affordable will make the search more efficient. Having a written POA so should your parents not be able to speak or comprehend and make choices will be a gift your parent gives you and you give to them. You will be their voice so their wishes are executed such as a DNR order so no extraordinary measures are done against their will to extend their lives.
Many people hear about a friend’s parent going on a government program to pay for care, it does not always apply; it is not a one size fits all as well as the military programs, everything has conditions and each family needs to seek it out themselves if there their senior parent is low income.
Becoming a decision maker is complicated, frustrating and depending on how many siblings there are it can get very complicated. I always say, Only Children are very lucky, they do not have to battle with their siblings losing focus of working together to help your elderly parent but working together to make the best decision fo r them.
All decisions are based on your parents needs for the long term considering how the care needs will change over the years that they are living in a facility so they will not have to be moved.
Our care counselors are available to assist and create personalized lists based on each and every seniors needs. We look at each senior as an individual with different needs and our goal is to give the best information to find the most appropriate facility for all of their needs,
you are not alone!