What to Do When Mom & Dad Have Different Care Needs

February 15, 2023 | Assisted Living
Parents with different senior care needs, adult daughter

Everyone values independence, and when we’re no longer able to take care of ourselves or our responsibilities, it can be challenging to admit we need extra assistance. When one spouse or partner has this realization, they typically turn to the other for a helping hand. But what happens when one person’s needs become too much for the other to handle? Or when each person needs specific care and attention that the other can’t provide?

Everyone ages differently, and the same is true for Mom and Dad. Astral at Auburn is proud to offer supportive senior care in Auburn, Indiana, and we strive to help families find the care that’s best for their situation. Below we share how to move forward when your parents have different care needs.

Understand Each Parent’s Care Needs

Finding the right support for Mom and Dad starts with understanding what support they need. Think about these key areas when assessing your parents’ needs

  • Home safety 
  • Medical needs 
  • Cognitive health 
  • Mobility 
  • Personal hygiene 
  • Meal preparation 
  • Social interaction

For example, maybe Mom has more limited mobility, and getting around the house is becoming more challenging and unsafe. In this situation, assisted living might be appropriate to provide her with the safe, supportive environment she needs. On the other hand, maybe Dad has been experiencing changes in memory and cognitive abilities making an assisted living community or memory care community (if he’s been diagnosed with dementia) the best option. 

Once you know what type of senior care each person needs, you can start to look into communities equipped to meet both of their needs.

What if One Parent Doesn’t Need Care Right Now?

While Dad might need some additional support in his daily life, Mom might not. However, providing that support for your dad might be taking a toll on her emotional and physical wellbeing. 

Partners take care of each other, but as we get older, the type of care we need might become too much for one person to handle. Recognizing that Mom needs caregiver support in order to prioritize herself is also part of this journey.

Consider Care Options

If one or both of your parents show signs of needing more support and assistance, you might initially step in to help. As a child, it’s natural to want the best for your parents’ health, comfort and care. However, depending on your parents’ care needs, you might not be able to provide both of them with the amount of attention and care they need. 

Fortunately, when it comes to senior care options, many senior living communities offer varying lifestyle options, from independent living to memory care. This also allows Mom and Dad to continue living together safely and comfortably. 

Astral at Auburn’s assisted living community features one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, so couples can live together, even if one doesn’t require assisted living services. On the other hand, if one person needs memory support, the other can move into one of our independent living apartments and live within the same community. 

The sooner you begin planning for senior care, the better off Mom and Dad will be if and when they need a greater level of care. If you wait until one of your parents needs additional care or an emergency occurs, your options will be more limited, and the move could feel rushed.

Making the Move to Senior Living

Once you’ve assessed your parents’ needs and had a conversation about senior care options with them, you can start to explore senior living communities that would be a good fit for your family. If your parents have already been considering senior living, ask them to list their top choices and go over each community. 

If they haven’t researched yet, you will want to ensure that whichever communities you consider offer lifestyle options that accommodate both of your parents’ needs. If remaining together is a priority for them, you will also want to discuss this with each community and ensure they offer spacious apartments that accommodate your parents’ lifestyles. 

Astral at Auburn is where life begins again. Our senior care community in Auburn is here to help your parents find a balance between support and connection. We invite you to visit our website to discover senior living with purpose at Astral at Auburn or contact us online to learn how our community can benefit your family.


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