Children depend on their parents for about two decades until they are adults and graduate from school. These young adults embark upon the world to earn a living, have families and make a difference by living their own Christian lives. As people get older, they may also need ongoing care. The tables turn as children become responsible for taking care of their grandparents and/or parents. Consider the options that exist to help you properly take care of your aging loved ones.
Give Elders Options
Unless your older loved ones are deemed incompetent to make their own decisions, it is their choice to decide where to grow old. They might not want to leave the home where they raised their family. Other elders prefer the comfort of moving into a trusted child's home. There are also seniors who live the camaraderie of living among people their own age. Discuss the options with your loved ones to find out what they prefer. Talk about important issues such as location, budget and how health issues will be handled. Make an educated decision that prioritizes the happiness of your senior loved ones.
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32
Create a Comfortable Living Space
If your loved ones want to reside in your home, create a comfortable living space that accommodates their needs. Consider a ground floor room if they have trouble navigating stairs or invest in a stair climbing chair so they can safely get up and down the stairway. Designate a room for your loved ones that is close to a restroom. It is even better if the bathroom is en suite. Add welcoming touches, such as a mini kitchen area with a microwave and small refrigerator. You want them to feel independent even if they are sharing space in your house.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8
Provide Home Care and Assistance
Often older people want to remain in the homes they have been living in for the past few decades. They have a sense of control and reassurance at home but often need assistance. Hire a home health care nurse if your loved ones need to have certain health conditions monitored such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer. Make sure you have a housekeeper and landscaper to take care of cleaning up the house and yard at least once a month. Have community organizations check in on your parents, such as Meals on Wheels to provide foods or the local house of worship to provide transportation and socialization. Often community centers have buses to transport older people. Get a system such as LifeAlert in case of emergencies. Visit frequently and call often to keep your loved ones feeling connected.
Choose Suitable Senior Living Facilities
An array of retirement communities exist around the country. These retirement living situations typically provide essentials such as housing, meals, maintenance, transportation and much more. Communities are often located in states with warm climates such as Arizona, California and Texas. However, retirement communities are opening up all across the country. Seniors have independence and the ability to enjoy an array of amenities and activities at the community. Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what older loved ones need to completely enjoy their retirement.
“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.” Timothy 5:1-2
Consider the wisdom and love older people have to offer younger generations. Encourage your children to get to know their grandparents and great-grandparents. Cater to the needs and desires of your older loved ones, knowing you will only have a limited time to appreciate their company.