What To Do If Your Older Parents Have Different Needs

What To Do If Your Older Parents Have Different Needs

If your loved one seems to be struggling at home, a little extra support at a retirement community can be the perfect answer. However, things become more complicated if your mom and dad are living at home. Most times, older couples do not need the same support at the same time. 

Knowing their needs, as well as your potential support solutions, can be helpful as you try to find the right answer for everyone.

Signs of Potential Trouble

It can be difficult to get your parents the right support if you don’t realize they need it. You might not be able to tell if mom is struggling, for example, because dad is taking care of all the extra tasks so it seems like mom is just fine. This is common and it can have dangerous results. The helping partner can end up overextending themselves and taking on too many tasks and too much stress, leading to a decreased immune system response, increased anxiety and other health problems. In the meantime, the partner who is struggling can end up struggling more as they become more sedentary and lose strength and endurance.

It can be difficult to notice this dynamic, but here are a few signs that could point to a follow-up conversation:

  • One parent taking over new tasks suddenly, like dad making meals when he has never cooked a day in his life
  • Sleep disruptions in either parent
  • Relationship disruptions or new disagreements
  • A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia
  • New falls for either of the parents

If You Are Concerned

If you think at least one parent could be struggling, it’s time to start a conversation. It can feel confrontational, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply bring up your worries and observations to one or both of your parents. You can also schedule an appointment with their physician as well to discuss your concerns.

Life Plan Communities as a Solution

Your parents might not have different care needs right now, but they likely will in the future. A Life Plan Community like The Glen offers an ideal solution: multiple living options all on one campus so that both parents can get the different levels of support they need. 

At The Glen, couples are welcome to live together in their independent living or assisted living home. They can pursue their shared interests together during events or programs as well as make new connections with neighbors. If one person needs more support, they can receive that while the other person still gets all the benefits of living on a campus with exceptional resources, services and amenities.  

In some cases, partners might choose to live separately and visit one another daily. For example, a person who is living with dementia might flourish best in The Cottages, The Glen’s specialized memory care area. Their partner can live in their independent living or assisted living apartment  and conveniently visit The Cottages any time they would like. Similarly, if a person has a fall, a knee replacement, or another type of surgery that requires a bit of short-term rehabilitation, they can get that at Village Health Care, our skilled nursing area on campus. Their partner can come over to visit.

If you are concerned about your parents, or if you are simply being proactive and planning ahead, we would love to talk to you more about the lifestyle and community. Contact us today to schedule your personalized tour.