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For some folks, the only answer is staying put instead of choosing organizations such as Visiting Angels to lend them a hand. Its Havertown location serves the greater Philadelphia area and is known as “America’s choice in home care.” Others opt for a nursing home, but in Philly that can run up to $226 a day — $82,490 a year. Meanwhile, retirement savings have been shaved in this yet-to-recover economy, folks are living longer and, with aging, health becomes a growing concern. The result: an uptick in what’s called a “reverse boomerang,” referring to the countless seniors moving in with their adult children.
Family closeness and bonding are all well and good, but close quarters, too many cooks in the kitchen, an extra disciplinarian on hand and/or different values and needs can cause stress and resentment. To avoid unnecessary conflict, establish ground rules right up front. For instance, is babysitting expected? What about correcting the kids? Are nightly sit-down dinners anticipated? Who will shop, cook, clean? What if mobility becomes an issue? And when health declines, what then?
Dementia, depression and loneliness must be addressed, too, requiring more attentiveness and potentially straining relationships. Plus, leaving an aged parent alone all day might be ill-advised. An organization like Visiting Angels is one possibility; adult day care is another promising remedy, providing day-long care, socializing and activity. Visit a few beforehand choosing one.
Once such matters are resolved, it’s all about living arrangements, with safety and privacy needs uppermost. The simplest solution: providing mom or dad with a bedroom, complete with a television and ideally a nearby bathroom equipped with grab bars for the toilet and tub. Consider, too, placing the microwave within easy reach, switching from door knobs to levers and applying non-stick tape under carpeting.
More might be required, though, like installing a chair lift, adding a mother-in-law suite or converting a basement or garage into living quarters. For such renovations, contact the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia for a professional trained in the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist Program (CAPS) to advise you and assist with remodeling.
The upside to all of this is that you keep a loved one close by, forging strong bonds between the generations and continuing to make memories together—and that’s well worth the effort to make it work.
Consider these Philadelphia resources when the parent move happens:
Immaculate Mary Home
2990 Holme Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Situated on seven acres, the center offers a 296-bed, skilled nursing facility with additional day-care services. While also offering a variety of activities, Mass is celebrated every day in the chapel located on the grounds.
Main Line Adult Day Care Center
119 Radnor St
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
The center opened in 1987 and specializes in dementia care primarily because of its small size, caring for and helping clients remain actively engaged. This, in turn, affords home caregivers the ability to pursue their own endeavors.
Senior Care of Chestnut Hill
7926-A Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118
In business since 1994, this state-of-the-art facility’s offerings include social and nursing services, engaging activities and round-trip transportation.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSPhiladelphia.com/YourHome.
Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and examiner.com contributor. Her work can be found here