As difficult as it may be to think about one’s parents getting older, for many Colorado residents, it is a fact they cannot avoid. Your loved one may be active and energetic, but if he or she is over 65, the chances that your parent will at some point need long-term care become greater and greater. While your parent may be able to receive such care in their own home, there may come a time when you will have to find a nursing facility to meet your loved one’s needs.
Nursing home care, even for a temporary stay such as recovering from surgery, can be exceedingly steep. Some research estimates that the average cost of a nursing home stay is between $69,000 and $78,000 a year. This is not likely money you or your parent have been able to put aside for such situations, so it is wise to begin planning early for the possibility your loved one may need such care.
A hard truth to admit
Slowing down is a normal part of aging, but if your parent can still perform most routine tasks, you may have little reason to worry for now. However, it is easy to miss some of the early signs that a loved one is declining, and you may not want to admit it to yourself. The following are signs to watch for that your loved one may soon need more help than you can provide:
- Can no longer keep the house clean
- Cannot do his or her own laundry
- Neglects his or her personal hygiene
- In unable to use the telephone
- Makes crucial mistakes paying bills or managing money
- Forgets to take medication or accidentally doubles a dose
- Can no longer cook or forgets to eat
- Spends most of the time at home because he or she cannot leave the house without help
In-home help may be appropriate for some of these, but you want to be prepared in case your loved one’s need for assistance increases.
Of course, the time for nursing home care for your parent may already be here. If you recognize these and other signs in your parent, you likely already understand the importance of choosing a facility that will provide your loved one with safety, attention and protection. While you may feel overwhelmed with the prospects of finding and affording such care, you can take comfort in knowing there are options and resources available to assist you throughout the process.