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If you have an aging family member, they will likely need some form of senior care at present or in the near future.

While each individual has their own needs, it’s important that all aging adults discuss their living plans and care options with their loved ones. Starting these conversations early can help give them a sense of direction and peace of mind.

How can I talk to my loved ones about aging?

Speaking to your parents or grandparents about aging could be challenging. After all, nobody wants to think about losing their independence or giving up the homes that they have lived in for a long time. As these are emotional issues, it is best to approach them sensitively and thoughtfully.

A bit of planning on your part can enable you to be more strategic in your approach to such discussions with senior family members. Prior to talking, conduct your own research either online or by consulting medical professionals. Gather resources about elderly living and care within your community.

Once you have collected all the information, tell your aging loved ones that you are concerned for their safety and well-being in the long term. Inform them that you have been reading about senior care options, and that you are eager to hear their thoughts on the same. When you start communicating early, you have the opportunity to include your family member’s wishes in all matters pertaining to medical treatments, financial decisions, and long-term care.

» Learn more: Helping Your Aging Parents with Their Finances

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Senior Care and Housing Options

The United States Census Bureau found that almost 53 million Americans were 65 years of age or older in 2019. Current trends indicate that by 2030, almost 1 in 5 Americans will reach retirement age.

To meet the growing demand for senior care and well-being, there are several living options that seniors can now choose from:

1. Aging in Place

Aging in place is when an aging person chooses to live in their home instead of relocating to another facility. As people age, they develop a stronger desire to be close to familiar things, places, and people. Research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) shows that about 76% of adults aged 50 years and above wish to remain in their present homes as they age.

There are many resources available to seniors today to assist them with aging peacefully at home. You can use in-home care services depending on the needs and abilities of your loved ones.

For instance, a care companion can provide company to seniors living alone at home by talking, reading aloud to, or playing cards with them. For assistance with daily activities, in-home caregivers can perform most chores except administering medical care. Home health care can only be ordered by a physician and is supervised by therapists and nurses.

2. Independent Living

Independent living setups are housing communities developed solely for aging adults. These are active communities which provide educational, recreational, and social activities to people of a similar age. Though provisions for health care may be absent, such communities typically provide cooking, housekeeping, and maintenance services.

3. Assisted Living Community

An assisted living community usually includes a set of apartments in a care community for the elderly offering many services. These include meals, housekeeping, bathing, dressing, medical care, transportation, etc. Most assisted living communities offer a communal dining area and social and recreational activities.

Assisted living is ideal for seniors who need some assistance while continuing to live independently. Higher levels of care are available at certain similar communities. Because of the variety of services provided, assisted living costs are higher than those for other living options. The type of living space and daily help required influences the costs.

4. Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

CCRC is a hybrid community type which is partly a nursing facility, partially independent living, and partly assisted living. This setting allows individuals to move through different areas in the same community as their care levels change. It is ideal for spouses who want to live close to each other even if one of them requires a higher level of care.

5. Residential Care Home

Also known as personal care homes, residential care homes are smaller homes offering services to groups of elderly adults. Personalized services include meals and assistance with daily living activities. Those in need of individualized care in a homely setting would benefit from living in a residential care home.

6. Nursing Home

Skilled nursing facilities are for seniors who require 24-hour monitoring and care. Typically, seniors who have a severe illness and are unable to look after themselves use such facilities. A physician supervises the health of every resident, and a medical professional is usually always on the premises.

Some nursing homes also have physical or occupational therapists. Others might have services for specific illnesses like Alzheimer’s. The cost of living in a nursing facility is typically high.

Conclusion

Deciding where your aging loved ones should live can be stressful but manageable. Start planning early by learning their preferences, discussing all options, and understanding what you can afford. Make it clear to your family members that their good health and well-being is your top priority.

Quotacy understands the value of having elderly people in our homes and communities. We know that as they age, seniors worry more about what will happen to their loved ones in their absence.

Do you have aging parents that may need assistance in the future? You may want to consider buying a life insurance policy on your parent if you’ll be responsible for taking care of them physically or financially.

Depending on their age, you may have quite a few options. Read more here: Can I Buy Life Insurance on My Parents?

Years from now, your children may be researching the same topics you are “How do I help care for my parents?” For their sakes, prepare for your retirement and life afterward.

Interested to know how much life insurance costs, either for yourself or your parents? Start today with a free life insurance quote.

About the writer

Quotacy is the country’s leading broker for buying life insurance online. We are obsessed with making it easy for everyone who has loved ones who depend upon them to have life insurance.