It is inevitable that we, hopefully, all grow old. At some point one or both of your parents may become unable to live alone. Many people believe that Medicare or Medicaid will cover the cost of a retirement center or ‘nursing home’ when our parents are no longer able to care for themselves. But in reality, many seniors do not qualify for this coverage. If eligible at all, Medicare will only cover the cost of such a facility if there is a medical necessity, and only for a limited period of time.
Medicaid will only cover nursing home costs for those who are financially qualified. This means that if your parents own property and have a savings, stocks, bonds etc., chances are they will not qualify until they have exhausted the value of their assets, by paying their own way! The average cost of a nursing home in Shreveport and Bossier City is approximately $90.00 a day! Assisted Living and Retirement Communities are excellent places for seniors who may need a little help caring for themselves. In the Shreveport area there are excellent retirement communities. However; these range in price from $2500.00 to $3600.00 a month and up depending on the level of care required.
As parents age there are many obstacles they may need help dealing with. Cooking, cleaning, and bathing for example. Many elderly parents do not eat properly and have difficulty with normal household chores and even bathing due to accessibility issues. So, you may be one of many families that must move mom or dad into your home in order that they can have someone to provide care for them.
This is a great opportunity to provide a learning experience for your children. They can help ease the difficult transition for an elderly parent who suddenly has lost their independence and their ‘home.’ This is extremely hard for most seniors! Grandchildren can offer emotional support and let them know they are glad that they are there. They can engage a grandparent to help with homework. Seniors need to feel ‘useful.’ Even if they require some home health or a private sitter during the day while you are away, they can be made to feel useful when your family is at home.
Most grandparents want to be helpful. They want to feel useful. You can help by finding small ‘chores’ that they are capable of, such as folding clothes, setting the dinner table. Additionally, they can read bedtime stories and tuck smaller children in bed for the night. They can help pick out their clothes for the morning as well.
The Caddo Bossier Council on Aging can arrange to have a hot meal delivered during the day to your parent. They can also provide transportation to appointments and shopping and have a wheelchair accessible van. They are a great resource for families with elderly parents living with them as well.