Having an aging parent can be an emotional time. Whether your relationship is healthy or strained, it’s difficult to see a parent unable to function independently anymore. Aging is a natural part of life, but it can be hard to see a parent’s health decline.

As someone’s child, it’s likely part of your responsibility to see your parents cared for. Since this is a complex time with many emotions hovering around, it’s important to not let guilt or resentment color your decisions. Caring for a parent yourself by bringing him or her into your home may be the best thing for both of you, or it may not. Rather than making such an important decision based off of your emotions, consider the implications it will have on your relationships, your job, and your time. If you feel able to make it work, then it could be a rewarding experience: you’ll likely take better care of your parent than anyone else could. If it’s not an option for you, based on your relationship with your parent or your financial needs, don’t feel guilty. It’s easy to feel like you owe your parents everything, but a parent-child relationship is give and take, and if you’re not able to provide care personally to your parent, you’re not failing to deliver something you owe him or her. Both of you can do your best to make the situation work and make it the healthiest for everyone.

If you do decide to care for your parent, you’ll want to acquire a list of nearby clinics. Your parent will have different needs as he or she ages, and you’ll want to take him or her to the best places for treatment. Like this New Jersey Center for Audiology, there will be a place near you to obtain hearing aids, hearing health, and anything else your parent may need as hearing declines.

If you choose not to care for a parent, you have the option of placing him or her in a nursing home, or hiring in-home care so your parents can keep their current house. It’s important to carefully screen any assisted living or personal care agency before you decide to work with them. Some are wonderful and some are shady, and you don’t want your parent ending up in the wrong hands. Try volunteering at the nursing homes of your choice to get a better sense of how the elderly are treated when “guests” aren’t around. If you like what you see, then you’ll feel comfortable entrusting your parent to their care. You can also keep an eye on any in-home care professionals so that you’re satisfied they’re doing well. Whether you live in Topeka, KS or Bucks County, PA, personal care is available for your parent at his or her home. Whatever you choose to do, there’s an option for you and your aging parent that will leave both of you satisfied and with peace of mind.

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