How to talk about care options with aging parents
By Cathy Molitoris, Lancaster Online
May 23, 2017
“You know the time has come. Maybe Mom is having difficulty navigating the stairs, or Dad is unable to keep track of his medication easily. It’s time to have The Talk. It’s time to discuss care options for your aging parents.
Adult children may find it difficult to bring up the subject of in-home help with their parents, or suggest the idea of moving to a care facility, but it’s important, says Ray Landis, advocacy manager of AARP in Harrisburg.
There are many signs it’s time to have this talk, he says.
‘Mobility is really the key factor for older people in maintaining their independence,’ he notes. ‘One of the biggest things that adult children of older individuals should be looking for is any problem with mobility.’
For example, are your parents having difficulty going up and down the steps? Have they slipped and fallen?
‘Do an evaluation of where they’re living,” Landis says. “Are there hand grips in the shower or bath?’
Lynn McCabe, information and referral supervisor for the Lancaster County Office of Aging, says increased difficulty in managing activities of daily living — from bathing and dressing, to paying bills, cooking or doing laundry — should be a sign that it’s time to talk about options.”
When it’s time to have the talk, McCabe says unless there’s an immediate crisis, the subject should be approached carefully, respectfully and in gradual increments.