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Parents. They feed and clothe us, come to our games and tend to our heartbreaks. They are the people that know us first and make sure we were prepared for what life offers. They are value and wisdom rolled up into someone we love. But as we grow up, they grow older, and before you know it it’s our turn to take care of them. Their health, safety, financial well-being and other factors may face changes that have to be addressed, and often this can be a monetarily trying time for both seniors and their adult children. Below are a few suggestions to keep in mind while navigating this point in your life:
Know your Parents’ Insurance Plan
Know the insurance plans your parents have, and pay special attention to what services are provided and what you would need to pay for “out of pocket.” When deciding whether to stick with it or move forward to different coverage, be forward-thinking; what services you may not feel your parent needs now may play a crucial role in less than a year’s time, so this is not the arena in which you should be pinching pennies.
You and your loved one should consult with a family doctor before making any decision about what is required for your parent’s safety. Many times, elderly individuals move to assisted living facilities for the comfort of knowing if help is nearby if needed, but there are more affordable ways to retain such reassurances. Medical emergency devices for seniors like Fall Alert can connect the wearer with a 24-hour helpline with a click of a button, and assistance will be provided even if the person is incapable of answering. Fairly inexpensive, these systems are practical for those individuals who don’t need consistent medical aid and are mentally capable.
In-home care gives your parents the comforts of living at home while providing the luxuries of professional medical care. Although they will still need to make certain doctor visits, an in-home nurse eases the waiting time for your folks and can have the comfort of being in surroundings they are familiar with. Many insurance plans will cover the cost of these visits. Admittedly a visiting home nurse may charge an average of 35.00/hour. This cost can be pricey if insurance coverage is lacking and it becomes out-of-pocket. This is an option you will want to explore for feasibility and safety for your parents.
Take Charge of Your Parent’s Medicine
Know if your parents are on medication and what their insurance will cover. Get familiar with the costs and find out if you can substitute a generic brand for a prescription name to save money. You may even want to research natural solutions for your parents’ ailments to supplement the prescriptions, but always listen to the doctor and seek out a second opinion.
Also, it seems the more people know about Canadian pharmacies, the more they are finding them to be a safe and cost effective way of filling their prescriptions. Websites like Canadian Pharmacy Meds provide a wide selection of prescription medications at a fraction of their usual prices. All it takes is a few moments to see if there is an affordable alternative, such as a generic brand, to your parent’s medicine.
Help Cultivate Social Interaction
Many times, physically capable seniors choose to live in structured (and costly) communities because of the social opportunities that are provided. After all, with the children (and perhaps a spouse) gone, loneliness can all too easily settle in. Therefore, help your aging parent to develop a sense of community based off of their interests, whether it is through a book club, an art class or maybe a routine trip to the local senior center. If you don’t live close by (or simply can’t spare the time) to drive your family member to the various locations, enlist help from transportation services like Homestead Senior Care. Additionally, spend a few hours acclimating your aging parent to Skype and Facebook; this will help them keep in touch with distant friends without having to leave the comfort of their living room, helping to further fend of emotional isolation.
Whatever care options you choose, make sure you talk it over with your loved ones and other family members involved. You’ll want to look at the costs, benefits and most importantly, the comfort of your parent. Caregiver decisions are never easy, but they are the most important decisions you will ever make.