Acting as a caregiver for your senior or disabled loved one when their health is declining is hard enough, but handling those responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been even harder. When you’re a caregiver, you deal with high levels of stress and anxiety, and the pandemic has only added to your long list of concerns. However, by following these tips, you can navigate this difficult phase with dignity and ensure that your loved one gets the care that they need.
Options for Long-Term Care
If your loved one’s health has been declining, you may be struggling to keep up with their needs. It may seem like a risky time to consider transferring your loved one to an assisted living facility for long-term care, but if they require more support than you could realistically provide on your own, you may need to explore this possibility regardless of the extenuating circumstances.
With vaccinations in full swing, however, you may find that many potential communities have reopened spots for new residents. Once you find several options, be sure to take a tour of each community to get an idea of what your loved one can expect.
Financing Long-Term Care
If you have found a safe assisted living community where your loved one can enjoy high-quality care, you will need to help them figure out how to cover the costs. According to Daily Caring, your loved one may be able to use their private savings, long-term care insurance or Medicaid.
If none of these options work for your loved one, they could consider selling their home to foot the bill. You can assist them in researching home prices and real estate market trends in their area. Bear in mind that it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of selling a home in the current market before making a final decision on financing long-term care for your loved one.
Plan for the Move
When you and your loved one have found the appropriate space, it’s time to start paring down their belongings and preparing for the move. Your loved one may have difficulty parting with cherished items, so be patient and helpful as they decide what to keep and give away.
Consider also helping them determine whether they need new furniture or if their couch, chairs or loveseat will work in the new space. If fit isn’t an issue, having their furniture cleaned is a great way to prepare for a fresh start. Research reviews to determine a furniture cleaning company’s reputation before making a deal, and be sure to clarify their cleaning methods and whether it comes with a warranty.
Discuss Final Wishes
The thought of saying goodbye to your loved one is heartbreaking, but you need to speak with them about their final wishes. Next Avenue recommends having this conversation while your loved one is still of sound mind and can convey their own opinions. You can use the information you glean from this discussion to create or update an “advance directive” that outlines their end-of-life plans in regards to health care.
As a caregiver, you may feel like you’re holding down another full-time job. Supporting your loved one as their health worsens presents a fair number of challenges. However, rest assured that your loved one appreciates all you do for them, even if they can’t express it. By carefully weighing their long-term care options, taking precautions to keep your home safe and clean, and being willing to have those emotional conversations about their final wishes, you’ll feel confident that you’re doing everything you can to keep them happy and healthy.
Lifestage is a senior advisory agency dedicated to helping older adults establish a successful legacy and find support through every life stage. For a consultation, reach out to us today.
Guest Author Hal Salazar Elders Today
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Ty Strahl is the areas leading senior adviser. Her job is to help you navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.