Examine independent living alternatives
Independent Living for Seniors: Page 3
6. Make a contingency plan
Don't get caught unprepared by an illness or sudden change in health in those you're caring for. Get to know local senior communities and skilled nursing facilities. Ask the older adults in your care where they'd prefer to go should the need arise. If possible, visit those communities and keep a file with information about eligibility requirements, costs, and application processes.
7. Re-assess regularly
Age -- and the decline in ability that often comes with it -- happens gradually, so those closest to an older person can sometimes miss signs of deterioration. Jot down some baseline notes about how they're doing -- physical mobility, capacity to take care of themselves and their home -- and then reevaluate every six months or so to make sure you aren't missing a new need or issue.
8. Build in joy
Sometimes, says Ann Cason, we spend so much time worrying about protecting older adults' health and keeping them safe that we forget to help them plan their lives around the things they enjoy. They chose to live independently for a reason. Find out what pastimes and pleasures are most important to them -- whether it's a meal with the grandchildren, a drive in the country, or a weekly card game with friends -- and try to find ways to help them continue to pursue those things they enjoy.
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