May is the time to celebrate your mother and show her how much you appreciate all the incredible things she has done for you. But as your mom ages, it may also be time to step in and start taking care of her, even if she doesn’t think it’s necessary. That may lead to some uncomfortable conversations; however, it can be easier if you plan ahead. According to Dr. Leslie Kernisan, the following issues are critical to address.



  1. Activities of Daily Living 


    • As adults age, they may need help managing transportation, finances, shopping, home maintenance, and meal preparation. Fortunately, if you can’t be there to assist, home companions offer these services.


  1. Safety issues


    • It is crucial to discuss physical safety, such as how to ensure her living situation is designed to mitigate falls, whether she has an emergency device that can alert someone if necessary, and whether it’s safe to continue driving.


  1. Medical and health issues


    • Many older adults have chronic conditions that require medications, monitoring, and other forms of ongoing management. And new symptoms may develop that should be evaluated. It is usually helpful if you can accompany your parent to the initial appointment or try to attend via conference call. Many physicians can now accommodate that type of request. Asking doctors questions or doing research before a visit wasn’t necessarily standard in your mother’s generation, so you may be able to get more information if you part of the conversation.


  1. Legal and financial issues


    • Some older adults may lose the capacity to manage specific financial or legal affairs or become more vulnerable to fraud as financial scams become more sophisticated.


    • Regarding assisting with financial matters, it’s helpful to plan and complete necessary legal paperwork so that you can intervene if necessary. You can also find outside legal guardians who can manage daily and long-term financial planning.


  1. Housing Alternatives


    • Your mother’s housing situation can affect her quality of life. You may need to evaluate whether she can continue living alone safely or if having a roommate or live-in companion would make sense. Does she have neighbors, friends, and family within proximity? Is her living situation a good fit for the long term, or would she feel more comfortable moving in with you or another family member? If that’s not possible, consider one of many available assisted living options.


  1. Quality of life 


    • Beyond meeting basic needs, most families are concerned about their older loved one’s quality of life. Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation can significantly affect mental and physical well-being. It’s vital to have social interaction and for your mother to be able to continue to pursue her interests.


The most critical thing to remember as you address these topics with a parent is to not treat them as a child. The discussion should be a conversation and not a lecture. You need to give them an opportunity to voice their opinion, provide feedback and even vent if necessary. It’s not easy for a parent to relinquish control to their child and vice versa, so acknowledge that. The more sensitive you are in the conversation, the more likely you will find a solution together.


If you or someone you know is interested in home healthcare services in South Florida, FirstLantic can help. We are locally owned and operated, providing our patients with the highest quality in-home care and placement services in Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) and Delray Beach (Palm Beach County) since 2000. Click here to contact us.


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