Most caregivers want to keep their aging loved ones at home for as long as possible. Often, you’ll hear the child of a senior say something like, “I promised Mom I’d never leave her in a home.”
As long as the situation at home is safe and you are prepared for it, there is no reason your senior parent can’t be at home with you. But, being a full-time caregiver can be challenging and aside from taking care of your parents, you need to also take care of yourself. Remember to pace yourself and try not to take on every task all at once.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your aging parents at home for as long as possible.
- How much care is really needed?
This is an important factor to understand before your parents move in, or before you decide you need to begin caregiving yourself. There’s a possibility that your parent needs everyday care that you don’t know about. Try attending some of doctor appointments with them so that you have a full understanding of their treatment, especially any specialized care.
- What are you realistically able to provide?
If your parent is in a wheelchair and your home is filled with stairs, you may not be the best place or them. Make sure you’re able to provide a space for your loved one which is theirs, including a bathroom, space in the kitchen for some of their favorite snacks, and a bedroom. You need to make sure they have storage for their medicines, and that anything they’re using is easily accessible and safe when you’re not home. If you can’t make space for them, your home may not be the best space.
- Enlist outside caregiving help.
Hiring a nurse or in-home caregiver is totally understandable, especially if you’re working full-time and you don’t have any family members who are around to help. Consider adult day programs, clubs, or if you have family in the area, ask if one of them can come by during the day to keep your loved one company.
- Enlist your family.
Sometimes your family doesn’t realize the amount of work that goes into home healthcare. You’re taking someone out of their space and moving them into a smaller shared space, which is a huge adjustment for them and for you. You may have volunteered for the job, but that doesn’t mean your family shouldn’t help. Try and make a schedule of visitors, people who can take your loved one for errands and appointments, and even social outings. This will give you and your loved one much-needed breaks.
- Ease financial pressure by budgeting properly.
Bringing another adult into the home and taking over all of their care can be expensive. Meet with a financial planner and analyze your budget. Take stock of your money and theirs, and find ways for both of you to save.
Source: dailycaring.com, “5 Top Caring Tips for Keeping Your Parents at Home”, DailyCaring Editorial Team