Five Arrangements to Make Before Your Aging Parent Enters a Long-Term Care Facility

By sdugas - April 09th 2014.

When it comes to providing your aging parent with the best quality of life possible, sometimes out-of-home care is the best option. At Sharon Village Care Homes, we pride ourselves on providing residents with a loving and compassionate environment in which to age. Even so, there are some arrangements that our staff simply cannot make on behalf of your loved one.

As the primary caregiver, it is your responsibility to help your aging parent plan for their future. Handling the many documents and arrangements that come along with retirement and long-term estate planning can be overwhelming for an elderly individual. Simply put, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to handle these important matters while your parents are still capable of making difficult decisions.

While accommodations are important, it’s only one piece of the long-term care puzzle. The following are five other areas that you’ll want to investigate alongside your aging parent.

  1. Estate Planning
    Getting an estate plan together when your parent is in good health will prevent any unnecessary confusion should his or her health fade later in life. Too many Canadian families wait until a health crisis hits before broaching this topic. Granted, it’s not the easiest thing to talk about, but that doesn’t diminish its importance.When talking to your parent about estate panning, remember that the discussion is about them. Ensure your parent feels loved and in control of the situation, not bullied and insecure. If you have suggestions, by all means offer them; however don’t expect your parent to immediately accept your advice as gospel. Instead, offer to bring in a third party expert, such as an estate lawyer or financial planner to assist with the more difficult questions.
  2. Living WillEnd of Life Options
    Clearly this will be a painful conversation to have, but even so it’s a discussion that should take place prior to placing your parent in a long-term care facility. Knowing your parent’s preferences as to end-of-life care will help both of you deal with future health scares tremendously. Once your parent has come to a decision, it’s important that you sit down with a lawyer and have a living will drawn up to ensure that all of your loved one’s wishes are accounted for.
  3. Decide Who Will Obtain Legal Powers
    A power of attorney document allows you to make decisions on your parent’s behalf, if ever he or she is unable or unavailable to do so. Without a power of attorney, family members will need to go through a time-consuming and expensive court process that will ultimately declare the parent incompetent. At this point, the court will be responsible for assigning a power of attorney, not the family – a decision that could ultimately add more pain and confusion to an already emotionally draining process.
  4. Find a Facility with Future Care Options
    While your parent might be in good physical and mental health, all of that can change without warning. When investigating long-term care home options, be sure to ask about options for increased nursing care if ever your parent’s condition should worsen. Planning for this possibility now will save your parent the task of having to relocate to a different long-term care facility in a weakened state
  5. Chronicle Your Family History
    Now is as good a time as any to ask your parent question about your family’s history. Whether you’re packing up family photo albums or cataloguing heirlooms, the process of moving to a long-term care facility is sure to flood your elderly family member with tons of long-lost memories. As difficult as it might be, try to enjoy these blasts from the past together.

Looking for more helpful articles concerning the transition from independent living to a long-term care facility? Then continue to browse the Sharon Village Care Homes website. We’re constantly updating our online portal with helpful senior care articles.