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    As your parents grow older, the time may come when one of them needs more care than you can provide. In this case, you may be faced with the difficult decision to place one parent in a nursing home.

    This can be heartbreaking for both you and your parents, but if it’s necessary, then you may be able to make the process at least a little smoother by trying the following ideas brought to you by Memory Lane Therapy.

    Finding the Right Nursing Home

    When your parent needs more care due to illness, dementia, or limited mobility, finding the right nursing home is key. Begin by researching various nursing homes near your parents’ current home. Explore care levels, amenities, room types, and prices. Read reviews left by family members of current and past residents.

    Nursing Home for Parent Needs

    When you have narrowed your search down to two or three possibilities, visit each nursing home for a tour. Margolis Bloom & D’Agostino suggests making a list of questions ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to ask them. If your parents are up for it, bring them along to see the facilities for themselves.

    Making Legal Preparations

    This is a good time to get your parents’ legal affairs sorted, if they haven’t already. Wills and durable powers of attorney should be drawn up as well as estate plans.

    Keep in mind that some of these conversations and decisions can be stressful. When making decisions under stressful circumstances, there are some important things to keep in mind. The first is to slow down and breathe to give yourself time to process. It’s also helpful to keep priorities in mind. The brain can get caught up in the minutia, so try to focus on the big picture.

    Paying for Care

    Aged Care Guide points out that one of your major concerns will certainly be paying for your parent’s nursing home care. You’ll need to explore many different options here. Calculate the value of your parents’ current assets, including savings, real estate, stocks, and bonds. Also, research the details about the percentage a nursing home can claim if only one spouse needs care.

    Thinking about selling your parents’ home for care? Get it appraised first. This will tell you its current value, minus any remaining mortgage owed. This difference is called the home’s equity. This will help you estimate how much you might be able to put toward care.

    Downsizing With Your Other Parent

    Even if you don’t have to sell your parents’ home to pay for care, you may still want to encourage your other parent to downsize. You could point out that your parent would have less maintenance and housework and therefore more time to spend with his or her spouse. Consider helping your parent rent an apartment or move into a senior living community, perhaps even one in conjunction with the nursing home. You’ll have to help your parents go through their possessions and determine what to keep and what to pass on.

    Remaining Compassionate

    The entire process of moving one parent into a nursing home is bound to be hard on everyone concerned, and it may be especially frustrating for you. Be sure to remain as compassionate and patient as possible, understanding that this transition is stressful, sad, and overwhelming.

    Father and daughter being compassionate

    Striking the Right Balance

    As you transition one parent into nursing home care, you’ll need to strike the right balance of location, care, and expense. Don’t hesitate to get some legal advice along the way, and take heart, knowing that you have your parent’s best interests in mind.

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