While age might not matter unless it's cheese or red wine, if you're lucky enough to have living parents, it's particularly that, at some stage, you'll have to consider available options for those aging parents in terms of their future. Answers to three main questions will have to be thought.
The first main questions is likely to be, 'Can parents count on their family for support?'
Figures show that approximately 80 percent of all long-term care is provided by friends and family members. This can prove tough-going for family members who are likely to be raising their own families and building a career. And it's illegally that these same people have any expertise in the treatment in Alzheimer's, dementia, and other age-related conditions.
Research tells us that almost two-thirds of people will need some type of long-term care after they reach age 65. Yet, just one-third believe they might need long-term care. As a result, many have no plan in place to protect themselves and their families from the financial and emotional burdens if this care is ever needed.
Another question is likely to be, 'Should aged parents relocate or stay-put?'
Ageing in place has much to recommend it. There are, however, other real-life considerations to make.
- Friendships are BIG-deal. So, if friends have discovered the elixir-of-life and can be counted-on to be around long-term, then staying-put looks like a good idea. If, however, friends and family have moved away, stay-putters can be left feeling lonely or isolated.
- Familiar surroundings provides confidence, especially if eyesight is failing. Consideration, however, needs to be given to security and architectural design. Stairs, for example, that could once be climbed or illuminated 2-at-a-time, can become barriers to free-access.
- A pet might not survive a move or be welcome in another setting.
- Close proxity to public transport, health-care, the local church, library, and theater, is most important, So, too, local knowledge such as, where the best deals can be had.
A third question could be, 'Would parents consider age-care?'
Images of nursing homes being filled with old people who are sick and dying is so last century. The reality is quite different with opportunities to engage in activities ranging from art workshops, exercise classes, event clubs, to lectures, facilities of this type provide considering more mental stimulation and social engagement than staying-put. Helping parents to adopt a positive view of what an age-care facility has to offer is likely to require attention.
Most of us value our independence, so this can be expected to be a key consideration for all family members. And, what's good for one family need not necessarily be suitable for another. The thought-after outlet for the aging parent (s), however, is to enable a fulfilling and exciting new chapter in their lives. Robert Frost summed-up in three words what he'd learned from life, when he said, 'It goes on'. Frost's observation must be kept in mind when considering what's best for the oldies.