The most difficult discussions to have with your family are the most important. For example, have you talked to your aging parents about plans they would like to have in place when they are no longer able to live in their own home? While it is true that nearly 70% of Americans over the age of 65 will never need long term care, it is probably best to begin these necessary discussions sooner rather than later. In addition to dealing with the fact that your parent or parents are aging, one of the things that make this kind of discussion difficult is cost of nursing homes. The cost factor, however, should be a reason to begin the discussion now, as opposed to waiting.
While the cost of nursing homes can be expensive, some nursing homes actually provide low cost senior housing. Affordable senior citizen housing is available in assisted living centers as well centers providing every care imaginable. No two senior care centers are the same, and since not two offer exactly the same services, you will have a variety of options.
Just because the local nursing home in your father’s small town is closed does not mean you will not find close, affordable options for your father. Although the closest nursing home may have closed because of declining enrollment, this is not the case nationwide. Most senior housing properties near capacity. In fact, the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industry reports the average occupancy rate for senior housing properties was 88.1% in 2011. The fact that so many care centers are nearly 90% full is another indicator that discussions about a future move from an independent home and the cost of nursing homes are important discussions between children and elderly parents.
In addition to the costs, another difficult part of the discussion about assisted living homes and full care centers is the fear that your parent will not receive good care and treatment. This, however, is not necessarily the case. In fact, almost 90% of seniors living in independent living centers rate their overall satisfaction as good or excellent. Nearly 85% of these independent care center residents say they would recommend their center to someone else.
Once the fears of cost of nursing homes and care in nursing homes have been confronted, perhaps it will then be time for you and your aging parent to visit local centers to start getting an idea of what options are available. If you and your parents live far from each other, the first decision may be to determine the best location for assisted living care. Does your parent want to live close to his or her hometown so that friends can visit even it means they are staying hundreds of miles from their children? Or, does it make more sense to find a center that meets both financial needs and limitations and care requirements close to children and grandchildren?
As parents age, families need to have a number of important conversations. Better to start these conversations early rather than wait until emergencies are involved.