When Mom and Dad Have Different Senior Living Needs
It can be a difficult experience when your parents have different senior living needs. Dad may be able to live independently, but mom might need assisted living or memory care services. Living separately not only puts a strain on your parent’s relationship, but it can affect their health and wellbeing.
Of course you want to provide your parents with the care they need as they age, but this can present a number of obstacles. When confronted with these difficult decisions, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and there are options for you to explore.
Explore Your Options
Your options largely depend on the level of care needed by either parent. In some cases, it may be possible to keep the parent needing more care at home and coordinate all necessary care between you, your mother, and other family members that are around to help. This is a time where having an in-home care assistant making regular visits can help ease your workload.
The time may come, however, where you realize your parents need a more permanent situation. This is when it’s time to explore moving your parents to a senior living community together or wrap your brain around the idea of separating them. There are plenty of options at this stage- senior living communities like Laurel Parc would allow your parents to remain together while receiving the individualized care that one parent needs and allowing the other to retain independence. This can also be a financial decision- can you afford to care for both of your parents?
You may reach the conclusion that separating your parents is a necessary step. This is never easy, but there’s a few things you can do to make it easier on everyone. Be there for both of your parents, arranging regular visits to the care home as well as visits to the parent still living at home. If the independent parent is no longer able to drive offer to drive them to make regular visits. This can be enormously taxing and caregiver burnout is a real concern, so make sure that you set a schedule that everyone is happy with so you don’t burn yourself out too much. Taking care of yourself is important too! Here’s a few ways you can make it easier on yourself:
- Arrange transportation.
As mentioned above, if one parent no longer drives, visiting their beloved in a senior living community can be tricky and you will hit burnout fast if you attempt to be the sole chauffeur. There are senior transportation services available to help you.
- Create a schedule that works for everyone.
You cannot be in two places at once. Create a schedule so that each parent has family or friends visiting on different days. This will lighten your load and relieve some of the burden from the parent still living at home.
- Encourage Self-Care.
After years of caregiving, living apart can be a blessing in disguise for the independent parent. This can provide a much-needed break for the healthier parents, giving them an opportunity for rest and the ability to care for themselves as they are also aging.
- Help the Healthier Parent Manage Guilt. (And Manage Yours, Too)
Instead of blaming yourself or anyone else for the separation, focus on the simple fact that you and your family are doing the best they can to navigate a complicated situation. Be gentle and kind to yourself when managing the stressors off having parents in two different situations. Validate your independent parent’s feelings as well and help alleviate their guilt. You need each other right now.
Situations like this are always difficult but if you have a quality support system combined with quality senior living care, you can make it through! If one or both of your parents need assisted living care in Beaverton or the Portland metro area in Oregon, contact Laurel Parc to arrange a tour of the best possible care to suit their needs. Reach out to us today to ask any questions or arrange a visit.