May 10, 2018
Among the most commendable and admirable decisions adult children can make is caring for aging parents. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed assistance, so it seems like a no-brainer to return the favor when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone. But there are a number of factors to consider before you take this step. Continuum details some of the key questions to think about:
Do you possess sufficient space? If setting up a room for Mom can lead to shuffling the kids’ accommodations, such as doubling up siblings to share a space or requiring a person to sleep on the couch, it is important to weigh this disruption alongside the benefits to the senior.
Are home modifications necessary? Walk through the house and try to see it through the perspective of an older adult. Are pathways clear between the senior’s room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any sort of trip and fall risks, such as throw rugs? Should you install grab bars, a raised toilet seat, or other home healthcare equipment? Are there stairs to maneuver? Is the house wheelchair-accessible?
Will someone be at home throughout the day? Isolation and the potential risks of being alone will still be a worry in the event that you and your spouse are working outside the home.
Is everyone fully agreeable with the decision? While you can be thoroughly committed to your aging parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of hesitancy or bitterness on the part of your spouse can create stress and relationship difficulties.
Are you able to manage increasing care needs? While Dad may need just a little additional help now, disease progression and the normal frailties associated with aging will change the degree of care needed at some point. Think about such potential challenges as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls that come with taking care of aging parents.
Another thing to be considered is that giving up status as “head of the household” is incredibly difficult for some older adults. It will require some advance careful planning to ascertain how to best help the older adult maintain dignity, independence and a sense of control.
If you’re feeling unsure about your ability to care for your senior loved one, another option may be better suited to both the senior and your family. One choice to consider could be the addition of an in-home care provider, like Continuum. Our professional caregivers partner with families to make certain seniors stay safe and healthy inside their homes – whether that involves several hours each week of companionship to enhance socialization, personal care support for safe bathing and dressing, help with household chores and preparing meals, or full-time, live-in care. We provide a free in-home consultation to learn more about the senior and to suggest a plan of care to handle all concerns. Contact us to learn more about the best home care in Clayton and the surrounding areas.