Consider all options
While a nursing home may be the obvious choice, in-home care is also available for those individuals who are adamantly against moving into a home. The Department of Veteran Affairs offers assistance for veterans and their spouses, so is a great first stop for anyone who fought for Australia, but even non-war vets can secure generous subsidies through the government.
Understand what type of care your parent needs
Different individuals need different levels of care, from just needing someone to check in or perhaps deliver meals to problems with medications, managing dementia, incontinence, mobility or even concerns for their safety due to loss of capacity. Consider a wide range of homes or in-house care before committing and ensure you involve your parent in the process, to make them more comfortable with the situation.
Sort out your finances
Nursing homes can be expensive and while we mentioned above that there are subsidies available, you’ll still need to budget for your share of the costs. You may need to sell your parents home to help with the costs, but make sure you’re open with them about this as lying will only cause them to become more stressed and upset by the process. If you can’t afford the home they want, be honest with them about why that is and help them find one more suitable to your financial situation.
Involve your parent in the packing process
Packing sucks, but packing sucks even more when you know you have to say goodbye to so many of your belongings. Involve your parent in every step of the process, talking through their belongings and helping them sort through what’s important to them and what they’re happy to say goodbye to – you may even find childhood items of yours that they were unable to part with. This helps both you and them accept what is happening and make the process easier on them emotionally.
While it might be easier to get rid of everything in one hit, your elderly parent may not be ready to say goodbye to the things they love. Consider hiring a storage unit and filling it with the things they want to hold onto, especially those that are family heirlooms. Over time, you can revisit the unit with them and allow them to say goodbye to their belongings in their own time.
Take it slowly
This is an emotional time for everyone and one that shouldn’t be rushed. Ideally, having the discussion with your parents before the situation arises can help them come to terms with it over time, so as they get older discuss what they want to happen in the event of poor health or injury that forces them into a home, as this will help ease the burden if and when the big move happens down the track.