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How to help your parent avoid a nursing home

While we are growing up, parents make sure we eat well, stay healthy and get a good education. Your parents may even have helped you pay for school or bought you your first car. You feel grateful for everything your parents did for you, and you know not everyone is as lucky.

Now that mother or father is getting older, you want to return the favor. You may even have promised your parent that you would not put him or her in a nursing home. However, he or she may have health issues that have you questioning whether remaining in his or her home is safe. You do not want to put your parent in a nursing home, but you just are not sure what the alternatives are and what you and your parent can afford. Here are some ways to help your parent avoid moving to a nursing home.

Share care costs with someone else

If you have a parent that lives alone and has declining health, you worry that in-home care could be too expensive. The truth is in-home care is expensive. However, if your parent moved in with a friend with similar health concerns, they could not only split living expenses, but also share the costs of an in-home caregiver. Living with someone else also provides more support, and your mother or father may enjoy this new arrangement.

Consider moving your parent to area with a cheaper cost of living

You can address concerns about mounting health care costs by suggesting your parent move to a less expensive area. Generally, heavily populated cities are more expensive than rural areas. Living in the Midwest is cheaper than living on either coast. Housing, food and even caregivers will be less expensive in these areas.

Explore adult daycare options

Adult daycare centers are generally much less expensive than in-home caregivers. If you take your mother or father to adult daycare, he or she can spend a few hours out of house participating in activities, exercising, socializing and are usually get a meal. This gives you or a hired caregiver a break and still makes sure someone is looking after your parent.

Think about how much skilled help your parent needs

Maybe your parent only needs help getting dressed, bathing or making meals. You could hire a trained caregiver to come for a few hours a day and then supplement that care with a non-skilled caregiver. A local church may have volunteers that provide companionship to older adults. Some colleges also have community service programs where students volunteer to run errands, do chores or just spend time with older people. Depending on you and your family’s schedule, you could also try to fill in when your parent’s caregiver is not there.

Investigate government programs

If your parent is a veteran,he or she may eligible for a variety of benefits from Veterans affairs. Your parent could qualify for additional pension benefits, long term care benefits or some adult daycare benefits. Low income individuals may also be eligible to apply for home and community based services or the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

Create an in-law suite

You may also consider of the option of building an in-law suite or moving into a home with separate living area. This would give you and your family some privacy, as well as allow your parent to maintain his or her privacy. At the same time, your mother or father will be close, so you can help provide care. You will also avoid helping him or her maintain a separate property. If there is an emergency, you or your family will be immediately available to help.

If you are unsure which of these options are best, you may also consider reaching out to an attorney with experience in elder care planning. An attorney can advise you of all your options, and she will help you arrive at a decision that both you and your parent can agree on.

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