How To Cope When Your Aging Parents Suffer From Declining Mental Health

April 13, 2013

Medicine

Aging Parents

Aging Parents

Every situation involving aging parents is difficult. The first step to coping with the situation is to accept it and learn to live with it. Try to remember the good times and what your parents did for you. Realize that the positions of responsibility for you and your aging parent are now reversed. You are now the one that will have to make decisions and they will have to accept the decisions you make. So, if you have made the decision to be the primary caregiver for your aging parent, here are some tips to help you on the rough, possibly long and exhausting road in front of you.

  • Where Should an Aging Parent Live

Depending on the financial situation of your aging parent, you may not have many choices about where they are going to live. If your parent owns their own home or condominium, they will most likely want to stay there and forever is going to be their point of view. Practically speaking, as long as they are safe and can take care of themselves there is no reason to make them move. If they have been diagnosed with dementia, or advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, they may not be capable of living on their own.

  • Family Diligence is a Must

During this time, when they attempt to be on there own, you must be very diligent. Aging parents are always targets for scams and fraudsters. If your parent had long term care insurance, do not think that will make things easier, at least not for you. These days’ caregiver companies have trouble hiring qualified personnel. This ends up meaning they hire just about anyone that can pass a background check. Many families find that the so-called caregivers are stealing items, if not just plain taking money, from their aging parents. If your parent is living on their own and has a caregiver for part of, or all of, every day, it is best if someone other than your parent is responsible for the financial portions of their life.

  • Apply Shared Decision Making

As your parent’s ability to take care of themselves declines, take the time to discuss the situation with them, step by step at each point of declining self care ability. Explain that eventually there will come a day when it will be necessary for them to have different living arrangements. Whether or not that means they live with someone in your family, or move into an assisted living community, will probably depend on the financial situation of your parent. At this time, in March of 2013, your parent will need to be able to pay for at least two years of assisted living care, before any help from Medicaid will help cover the cost of their care. Look here for more information about shared decision making http://www.planet-therapy.com/free-resource-cd-on-shared-decision-making-sdm-for-mental-health/.

According to Stanley Martinson, an author on health, “There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to caring for your aging parents, because every situation with dementia and Alzheimer’s is a unique road.” Just make sure you don’t try to take care of everything yourself. Get advice from others in your situation, keep a contact list of everyone that offers help, and ask yourself along the way if what you’re doing is best.

How To Cope When Your Aging Parents Suffer From Declining Mental Health


This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
Mental Health

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