When an older person is beginning to struggle to live independently, families have to work on getting their loved one to agree it’s time to have the “tough conversation,” whether it is about moving to assisted living or having in-home health care provided. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America, men have traditionally been an afterthought in the world of senior living.
With the aging of the boomer generation, men now make up 26% of those residing in retirement communities. When the time came for a friend of mine to have the “talk” with her dad, she said the hardest part was assuring him that he wouldn’t be the only male resident. Another concern was whether or not there would be activities for men that might interest him. Last, but not least, a primary concern was how much independence he would have in assistant living. It is a fact that men tend to value freedom more than women, making these choices such a difficult one for males.
The aging process is difficult for both men and women, but research has shown that men have a harder time adjusting to life changes that accompany the aging process. Throughout their lives, men are conditioned to be strong, controlling and independent. Men can be devastated by the losses associated with aging, and may feel they now have nothing to offer to society and may find it very difficult to depend on others.
When the time comes to have the “talk,” be prepared for the tough questions, such as, “What will I do all day?” and “Are there guys my age living there?” Be sure to include your loved one when visiting senior communities, and allow them to ask questions and help make choices when choosing where they will live out the rest of their lives. Retirement communities are aware of the influx of men needing services and are adding more and more activities geared toward men.
Schedule an appointment today at one of The Wesley Communities retirement communities by calling 614-396-4990 or visit www.methodisteldercare.org. Our communities offer amenities for all of your needs.
Three weeks ago while I was on a quick trip to the store to buy bags of my father’s favorite candy, he fell and broke his hip. From that day on, both of our lives have been turned upside down from the moment we arrived at the hospital to the move to a rehabilitation center after his surgery. We are now forced to make a decision as to whether he can return home or will require 24-hour care.
As days turn into weeks, the need to make choices about long-term care has come knocking with force at my front door. I thought the challenge would be finding the perfect location for my father to receive the care he now needs full-time. However, I’m finding that there’s much more to it. Though my journey is just beginning, I’m learning very quickly that we all need to have a budget plan in place, as well as an idea of how we want to live out our lives, if the time comes that we need long-term care.
Paying for long-term senior care can be a challenge for all families, no matter what your circumstances may be. There are so many unknowns. We don’t know how long we will live or if those years will be spent in good health. We all hope to get lucky and stay healthy until our end, but in reality most people will face health challenges that will increase the need for assistance. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans significantly underestimate the amount of care they’ll need and how long they’ll need it. People are outliving their resources AND they are living much longer than years gone by.
When you plan for your golden years, here are some things to consider.
- Anticipate escalating health needs
- Ask about Medicare policies
- Consider inflation increases
- Give advance notice of limited funds
- Be conservative in your choices
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Luckily for me, I have friends who have dealt with or are currently dealing with making choices about long-term care for their loved ones, whether it be independent or assisted living. All of them have graciously offered their help in guiding me to the correct avenues to enable me to make the best choices for my father’s future in long-term care.
For more information on budgeting and long-term care options, go to www.aarp.org or www.longtermcare.gov