A funny thing happens at the start of the school year. Families begin thinking about their aging parents and see a need for a change. Fall is a busy time for senior care professionals, with a rise in the number of emails and phone calls.
Often the adult child has visited her parent and has seen their home. Perhaps the refrigerator resembles a petri dish, and the canned goods and packages are “vintage” with pull dates from the turn of the century.
Other danger signs appear from room to room: papers piled high, throw rugs ready to trip on and a bathroom without grab bars.
“Something is not right.” Those words of Miss Clavel in the children’s storybook Madeleine may seem apt for this situation.
Other scenarios can be telling. Adult children may be caring for their aging parent and realize that they can’t do everything. Or they see that their social butterfly Mom is wilting by being left with only family to talk with.
One of the most difficult situations involves a caregiver spouse, whose workload is unbearable, especially given his or her her age.
Every family is different, and every situation is unique. One idea is to consult with a senior care referral agent. They’re located throughout the country. I worked for a good one, Silver Age Referrals, for eight years. Excellent referral agents work with the family to discover what makes the person tick and what works for the family. Together they can come up with good health care choices.