It can be a difficult situation when you realize that one of your parents needs help. Yet the stress can increase tenfold when you realize both parents need help – in different ways.
Dad may be ready to give up the “chores” around the home, such as mowing the lawn and taking care of the large, family home, while Mom may need help remembering to take her medicines.
Dad may be suffering from a recent stroke, while Mom is dealing with her own issues caused from dementia.
In either case, the question is usually left for the siblings to decide.
Do we put Mom and Dad in assisted living? Do we let them live at home? Should they be in different facilities?
First, affirm the wishes of your parents. What do they prefer? Are they ready to move into assisted living or do they want to stay at home? If possible, have them talk about each option and offer what the pros and cons are to each. Then talk with each of your siblings. Take into account the wishes of those closest to Mom and Dad, as they may be dealing with more of the daily tasks.
Then work towards a compromise. If Mom is looking forward to assisted living because she can relinquish her cooking duties and have more access to social activities, how can you make in home care satisfy her needs? An in home care professional may be able to cook lunches every day of the week, and bring her to activities twice per week at the local senior center.
Reevaluate the situation on a regular basis. Talk with the in home caregiver to find out how Mom and Dad are truly doing. Speak with your parents about any concerns. And be willing to change things around as needed.