Options for Taking Care of the Elderly
There are numerous options that are available to our family pertaining to the care of our elderly grandmother. Before arriving at a tentative solution the family needs to consider each of these options carefully. A family meeting is crucial before any decision is made so that everyone has a platform to share their views and concerns about the matter. Finances will play a critical role in deciding which option to choose making financial resources an essential topic of discussion in the family meeting.
Other than finances, another critical issue that the family needs to discuss is the level of care that our grandmother needs. As she gets older, her care needs are bound to change and become more complex and challenging. The family should consider consulting with a geriatric care expert or a social worker to determine the level of care that our grandmother may need. This consultation will assist us in making forecasts on her care needs in the future.
One option that the family has is to allow our grandmother to move in with one of the family members. This decision is usually the first and most effective solution to the provision of care for the elderly.
There are obviously several advantages of having our grandmother move in with us. One advantage is that she will be near those who love her and appreciate her. We are her family, her source of joy and living with us will ensure she gets the best possible care. She will also be more comfortable living with us than with strangers in a nursing home. As a family, we can monitor her better when she is at home with us than if we left her in the hands of strangers in a long-term care facility. Having our grandmother move in with us will also afford us the opportunity to spend more valuable time with her before her inevitable death.
There are various issues that the family needs to take into account if we decide to go ahead and let our grandmother move in with us. One issue is the change in family roles which can create some tension in the household. Her increased dependence on some family members may result in some of us having less time for those we love i.e. spouses and children. Some members may also have to adjust their work schedules in order to provide our grandmother with the appropriate amount of care (Lawrence, 2014).
We might also have to consider making special adaptations to our family home if we are to accommodate her properly. Anticipating that she might develop sight and mobility complications, we might have to adjust our floor plan so that the house is safe for her. Groups such as the Area Agencies on Aging can assist us in conducting an assessment for the home and recommending any modifications such as ramps.
We should also consider that lifestyles are bound to change once our grandmother begins to live with us. Social events, sleeping cycles, noise levels in the house, and food preferences will need to be adjusted so that there is a happy transition for both the family and our grandmother.
As mentioned above, finances are a critical topic of discussion. Once our grandmother moves in with us then we might become more involved in her personal finances. We need to agree on how much money (if any) my grandmother is willing to put towards her upkeep while she is staying with us. We could also prepare the Personal Care Agreement which is a document that entails any payment that we have received from her to pay for her living expenses. The family members should also consider adjusting our work schedules if necessary as well as the implications of these adjustments on our finances, jobs and social security benefits (Lawrence, 2014).