Handling long term care for loved ones humanely and practically

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Sometimes, financial planning means planning for the care and loved ones.

The popular perception is that people in their golden years tend to be more financially secure than their children or grandchildren. But that’s not always the case. It’s not that uncommon to find oneself in a position where our elder parents or relatives need care and need our help.

Sometimes, even financially secure loved ones can also need help in other areas, and tough but important decisions will have to be made on everybody’s part.

When to get professional help

It’s often surprising seeing how aging affects people we deeply care about, especially when those people were often seen as being as stable and strong as an oak tree in days past.

But, since we care about them so much, it’s important to dedicate time and plan for their maximum comfort and enjoyment of their golden years, hopefully together with them inasmuch as this is possible.

Bringing in professional help, or in extreme cases, finding an appropriate long-term care facility, are two options that may be the right choices for your loved one, depending on individual circumstances.

It’s a great idea to sit down with your aging relative and analyze what their needs and wants are, and what’s the best way to provide for those needs and wants, to extend their physical, psychological and emotional health for as long of a time as possible. Here are some of the more common essential areas to think about:

What makes for quality of life for a senior?

There’s a thing called ADLs, or Activities of Daily Living. These are, in no specific order, things like:

-Eating

-Getting dressed

-Performing personal hygiene rituals

-Basic functional mobility

-Bathing or taking a shower.

These are the usual determining factors in whether you need professional assistance or not with your loved one.

After these come the IADL’s , or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. These are less essential than the above, and include items like:

-Cooking and meal preparation

-Cleaning and doing housework in general.

-Shopping for things you need

-Running errands in general

-Paying bills and taking care of basic financial matters

-Taking medications

-Communicating using the phone or the internet etc.

Once again, the important thing to remember is that these activities need to be performed and the goal is that they be performed properly and in due course. This should outweigh other perhaps utopian or sentimental concerns.

It’s a noble goal for your senior relatives to live out their lives at home, surrounded by loved ones at all times. It’s also a goal with supporting, but it’s important to be practical about things.

As long as we keep in mind that our loved ones will suffer if these needs aren’t met, and take proactive steps to make sure that all of the above are taken care of, we can be assured that we are doing the right thing for all concerned.

About the Author

Tobias Simmons is a personal finance blogger born in Ontario and based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He's no Doctor of Science or financial expert but is a self-taught student giving advice for the average peer.

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