One of the interesting things about many owners of Palos Verdes homes is that they share a common age range. There was a big population explosion on the Palos Verdes Peninsula back in the 60s mostly due to the expanding aerospace business and the engineers employed by those industries. Back then, it was actually a bit cheaper to buy a home in Palos Verdes versus Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach or Torrance. Now those aging parents are in their late 70s and 80s and many of them are our parents who moved here back in the 60s, still living here in Palos Verdes and we’re beginning to notice things.
This is one of the toughest jobs we have as “children” because now we’re assuming a role our parents had in raising us. Feels weird, but that’s the way it is. The loss of independence our elderly parents face profoundly effects their view of the world and the quality of the life they experience.
Can your aging parents live on their own?
So how do you know when it might be time to talk to the folks about this topic? Here are some tips from Nancy Kupka. She has a doctorate in Philosophy, a doctorate in Nursing, and a Masters in Public Health. She knows a thing or two
Surprise visits – drop in when your folks aren’t expecting it. How do they look? Groomed? Is the house clean? Is there food in the refrigerator? Is the house generally clean? Some common sense observations here are very telling
Check their medication – Count their pills. Are they taking their medication?
What’s the friend and relatives picture looking like – Are your folks socializing? How about the activities that they’ve been involved with recently; are they still involved?
What’s the safety picture – Are they managing stairs ok? Are there any “booby traps” and elderly person would suffer from (uneven floors, concrete patios that are uneven which could cause trip hazards)
Finances – Are the bills getting paid? Are their stacks of unopened mail?
There are no set criteria of course and employing your good judgment will be critical in reaching conclusions. And realize if you come to the conclusion that your aging parents can not live on their own, realize that the transition will be completely disorienting. Patience will be key.
One resource here on the Peninsula, is Barbara Farmer. She is an exceptionally warm, caring and helpful person that I have observed go above and beyond to help Palos Verdes seniors. You can learn more about her here