Moving your parent into a care home can be a difficult time for both parties. There are many changes, and many decisions that need to be made. Therefore, it is best to make things as easy as possible by sorting things out well in advance.
Here are some of the things you should discuss with your mum parent while they are still lucid or before it becomes inevitable for you to move them into a care home.
- Ask Your Parent Questions About Your Family History
Ask them everything you’ve ever wanted to know about their childhood, how they met your other parent, and any other details to do with their life or family history. This is invaluable information to you, but more importantly, if you are later able to fill in the blanks for them while they are trying to recall a memory, it will be of great comfort to them.
- Discuss End-of-Life Options
It’s a painful and awkward discussion, but knowing your parent’s preferences as to end-of-life options — such as wishes regarding resuscitation efforts or feeding tube usage — will help you tremendously. Have this discussion and get your parent’s preferences in writing, in the form of a living will.
- Choose a Facility that Offers Options for Future Changes in Need
If your parent needs to move to an assisted living facility, it is a good idea to chose somewhere where there is an affiliated section for them to move to if their condition worsens. This will help make the transition easier if assisted living no longer meets their needs. Many facilities have long waiting lists for the extra care section., but your parent will have priority over other applicants if they are part of the facility’s assisted living section.
- Advise Your Parent Not To Bring Valuable Items to an Institutional Residence
Whilst moving your parent into a care home, you will have to do a lot of sorting: which things will they take with them, and which will be sold or passed down to other family members? Unfortunately, no matter where your parent ends up, there is always a risk that their valuables may get lost or stolen. This vulnerability to theft or forgetfulness will only increase as their condition gets more fragile. It is important therefore to have a conversation with your parents: is it better to keep valuables with the family to make sure they will stay safe to pass down the generations?
- Obtain A Lasting Power Of Attorney
An ordinary power of attorney can be useful in the years your parent is still mentally competent. With this, your parent can give someone else the authority to manage their financial and legal affairs – however they still have the overriding decision making power and certain domains can be restricted.
It is important however to make sure that you also sort out a lasting power of attorney with your parent – before they become mentally incompetent. An ordinary power of attorney is null as soon as the person loses mental competency. Have your parent appoint a lasting power of attorney, enabling a person or organisation to manage all their affairs for them after they are no longer able to do so.
For more information on how to make, register or end a lasting power of attorney, visit The Ministry of the Attorney General website.
Following these tips may lessen some of the worries associated with moving your parent into a care home. Whilst seeing your parents age is terribly difficult, particularly if they have dementia, make sure you plan for the future to ease the burdens and stresses on you both.