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Getting older is inevitable, and regardless of how well we take care of ourselves, healthy aging is not always a given. 

Sometimes unexpected ailments and other debilitating health conditions appear or worsen later life, causing extra stress, time constraints and unexpected burdens on unprepared caregivers and family members.  

When aging family members need increased care, it’s usually family members who are called to action, but not everyone can give their loved ones what they really need. 

Someone has to provide care, but whom? 

It’s usually a natural assumption in the life cycle for adult children to care for their parents, after all, parents cared for them as children but that’s not always feasible. The decision to call in outside help must be made after an open and honest discussion with your loved one.

The role of the primary caregiver is huge. Helping with doctor’s appointments, errands, buying and preparing food, finances, bathing, dressing, toileting and medication management are just a few of the responsibilities. 

It’s a lot to take on for anyone.

Take help if it’s offered, but seek other resources along the way. There are options for support. 

City senior centers and associations that provide community support are a few. If 24/7 care is needed, skilled nursing residences remain one of the best options for care. If you choose this option, talk to a long-term care ombudsman to help with the transition from home to skilled nursing care. Another alternative when loved ones are available to help coordinate is to join an adult day program that is coupled with home care so that support is given during the day, evening and on weekends through the two programs.  

Other resources include: Menorah Park’s Wellness Resources Dinner Conversations, menorahpark.org, the Mandel Adult Day Center, Menorah Park’s Center 4 Brain Health and Menorah Park’s Home Health Services in Beachwood, Akron and Canton.

For more info, call community liaison Kathleen Parrino, LISW, at 216-402-0895.

For more info, call community liaison Kathleen Parrino, LISW, at 216-402-0895.

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