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When Only One Parent Needs Assisted Living: How to Give Support

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Son carrying a steel walker and a senior man pushing his wife's wheelchair on the way to an assisted living community, back view shot

It’s no secret our parents tend to rely on each other as they grow older. Whether they’re helping the other move around, get dressed, clean up, or visit with friends and family, having a partner by their side throughout their life can be a significantly beneficial support system.

However, as parents age, their needs might change and deviate from each other. Eventually, it might become too difficult for one parent to care for the other, and when this happens, you and your parents might need to consider how an assisted living community can help support your responsibilities.

Knowing when to start looking into assisted living is crucial to ensuring your loved one always has the care they need, but removing a partner from the home may affect the feelings of both parents. Today, we’re going to look at how you can support this process so both of your parents can maintain their quality of life without resting every caregiving duty on one person’s shoulders.

If you need any help with this process, please feel free to contact the team at Tylers Mill Senior Living today. We’ll be happy to walk you through some strategies we use to help support aging couples and show how we design our community to help every parent comfortably enjoy their golden years.

When Is it Time to Consider Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a lifestyle option we offer to seniors who struggle with daily living activities. Our ultimate goal is to maintain your loved one’s quality of life through comprehensive care services, compassionate staff, and a range of features and amenities.

It might be time to consider an assisted living community if your loved one struggles with:

  • Eating
  • Walking
  • Personal hygiene
  • Dressing

If your parents live together, they might take on many responsibilities to help maintain a sense of normalcy. However, these responsibilities can be challenging to keep up with, especially for an older person with changing needs themself. In some cases, this might lead to caregiver burnout, which can cause symptoms like:

  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Concentration problems
  • Self-neglect

If one parent cares for the other and you notice these issues, it might be time to consider assisted living options.

Can Your Parents Live Together?

If it’s time to look at assisted living communities, the first question you must ask is, “can your parents live together?” This is a multifaceted question, and there will never be a straightforward, easy answer. Because both of your parents are unique, they’ll require different levels of support depending on where they are in life.

To help break this question down even further, you should also be asking:

What Are Their Needs?

Before deciding on a community to move into, and before you can determine if your parents can stay together, you’ll have to determine what their needs are. Some questions you can ask them include:

  • Do you need to share a living space?
  • Do you plan on staying in one community forever?
  • What will you need from your new community and living space?
  • How will your needs change going into the future?

Of course, it’s impossible to tell the future and how your parents’ needs might change, but asking these questions can give you a better picture of the support they might want. 

What Is Their Budget?

Your parents’ budget can significantly affect what type of support they can pursue. While there are plenty of communities where couples can live together, some of them might not be in your parents’ budget at the moment.

Instead, you may need to consider having one parent live in an assisted living community for the time being while the other either lives on their own or moves in with a loved one. Or you may wish to look into communities that offer “age in place” lifestyles that adapt the type of care they provide to your loved one’s evolving needs.

What If They Can’t Live Together?

If your parents cannot live together, it’s completely understandable if they have some of their own reservations about living separately. But it’s important to remember that while they might not be able to live together now, there are still endless opportunities to see and support each other.

Some of the ways you can help ease the process into separate types of lifestyles can include:

Senior in a wheelchair happy to see his approaching grandson and family for regular visits in the community

Scheduling Regular Visits

Connection is such an important aspect of our quality of life, and it can significantly affect our loved ones, especially if they are living away from their lifelong partner. You can help by scheduling regular visits with your parents.

Keep in mind the community’s daily schedule and look for opportunities where both of your parents can enjoy their time together.

Arranging Transportation Options

To help ensure your parents are spending as much time together as possible, look up different transportation options in case your parents aren’t able to drive anymore. This can include bus routes or alternative drivers like friends or family who will be willing to help whenever possible.

Enjoy the Support

It’s normal for one of your parents to feel guilty about having the other in an assisted living community. Still, it’s important to remind them how much this decision is improving both of their lives.

While they may not live together at the moment, they are both receiving the quality of care they need. Even if a parent lives in an assisted living community, the other doesn’t need to worry about managing the care for the other and can rest assured knowing their loved one is cared for.

Discover How We Can Help

Tylers Mill Senior Living understands how important connection is to our residents’ quality of life. We can offer different ways to help ensure your parents have all the time they need to spend together.To learn more, please contact our team or schedule a visit through our community today.

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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