May 7, 2018 by
The most commendable and admirable choice adult children can make is to open up their home to their aging parents. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed assistance, so it seems like a no-brainer to reciprocate when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone. But there are a number of considerations to think about before becoming a family caregiver in your own home. At Home Independent Living outlines some of the key questions to think about:
Is there adequate space? If setting up a spot for Mom will result in shuffling the kids’ accommodations, such as doubling up siblings to share a room or necessitating someone to sleep on the sofa, it is worthwhile to weigh this disruption alongside the value to the senior.
Are home modifications necessary? Walk through the house and try to look at it through the perspective of your loved one. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen area, etc.? Are there any dangers for easily falling or tripping, such as throw rugs? Would you need to put in grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home health-related equipment? Are there stairs to maneuver? Is the residence wheelchair-accessible?
Will someone be at home each day? Loneliness and the dangers of being alone will still be an issue in the event that you and your spouse work outside the home.
Is everyone fully on board with the plan? While you may be thoroughly committed to your senior parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of reluctance or bitterness on the part of your spouse can add tension and relationship challenges.
Are you prepared to handle increasing care needs? While Dad might need just a little extra help now, disease progression and the normal frailties related to aging will change the amount of care needed with time. Think about such possible complications as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another consideration is the fact that giving up status as “head of the household” is incredibly hard for some seniors. Normally it takes some prior careful planning to figure out the best way to help the older adult maintain dignity, independence and a sense of control.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your capacity to take care of your elderly loved one, another option may be better suited to both the senior and your family. One choice to take into consideration could be the addition of a Syracuse elderly home care provider, such as At Home Independent Living. Our professional caregivers partner with families to ensure your loved one remains safe and healthy inside their home – whether that involves just a few hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with housework and preparing meals, or round-the-clock, live-in care. We provide a free-of-charge in-home assessment to find out more about the senior and to suggest a plan of care to manage all concerns. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) or contact us online for more information on how we can help your aging parents.