4 Ways Families Can Help Aging Relatives

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As humans get older, many of them have to deal with diminished capacity. You probably can’t get around as easily as you used to. Maybe your hearing or vision is not as good as it once was.

If you can continue to live on your own or with a spouse or partner, and you’re fine taking care of yourself, that’s great. However, most people need a little help after a certain point. If you have relatives, you might need to have conversations with them about what they might do to help you in your daily life.

Let’s go over some options as to how a family might help an aging relative.

Your Family Can Put You in Assisted Living or a Nursing Home

If you’re an older individual, and you find you can’t take of yourself as well anymore, your family might find a place for you in a nursing home or assisted living facility. You’ll have to look at some options, and you’ll need to think about your financial situation as well.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services says that staying in a long-term facility can cost between $7,000 and $8,000 per month, on average. That’s a lot, and not every individual has that. However, if you were able to save a pretty decent amount of money during your professional life, you might decide to spend it this way.

One of the best options might be if your family can find you a facility that’s not too far away from them. That way, your relatives can come to visit frequently, and you’ll know that elder abuse or neglect are unlikely. Unfortunately, you do need to think about those things since they happen far too often.

Your Family Might Have You Move in with Them

If you’re living on your own, or with a spouse or partner, but you can’t care for yourself that well anymore, you might also talk to your relatives about moving in with them. You can see if they have a spare room. If they have a finished basement or another room they can convert into a bedroom, that might work.

If your family does love you and care about you, they probably won’t mind if you move in and spend your retirement years with them. If you have grandkids, they might like having you around. You can impart some wisdom and tell them stories from your life.

If you decide you should move in with your family, but money is tight, you can use whatever cash you’ve saved for retirement to help with your care costs. You can put that money toward the household food budget, the mortgage payments, utilities, etc.

Your Family Can Help Modify Your House

Maybe you’re sure you want to keep living alone. You might not feel comfortable moving in with your family members, and you don’t want to head to an assisted living facility or nursing home either. Your family might help you modify your house so you can live there alone easier.

What they’ll need to do will depend on any physical difficulties you have. If you use a wheelchair now, they might add a ramp into and out of the house. If you’re shaky on your feet, they might add a bar in the shower you can hold onto, and they might add bars to the staircase as well if you don’t have any yet.

They can also come to visit you frequently. Even if your independence matters a lot to you, there is no harm in your relatives coming by often to make sure you’re okay.

Your Family Can Help You Hire a Home Health Aide

You might also sit down with your family members and talk to them about finding a home health aide or a live-in nurse. If you insist on living on your own, there are home health aides that can come for a few hours each day to make sure you’re alright.

They can do all kinds of things for you. They might help you prepare your meals. They can help you bathe yourself, and they can often do a little housework as well if you can’t do it yourself.

If you’re in poor health, you can get a live-in nurse instead. They can carefully monitor you and make sure you take your medication.

There are several options for older individuals, and with your family helping you, you should be able to devise a sensible plan.

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