Many seniors and their family members would prefer to stay in their own home as long as they can. It gives them a sense of security, independence, and allows them to continue living comfortably in their own home. It can be hard for them to move out of the house they’ve lived in for years, raised their families, and made memories with their spouse.
For many adults, caring for their elderly parents is something you are happy to do but still comes with many challenges and an adjustment for all. Your top priority is that they are safe, comfortable, and getting the care they need to stay healthy!
Here are six tips to make it easier on yourself as you care for your aging parents at home.
Assess your Parent’s Needs and Include them in the Process
The first step in ensuring you can adequately care for your aging parent while still enjoying what you love to do is sitting down with them and assessing what AND how much care is needed to keep them safe and comfortable at home.
It is essential to include them in the process. No one wants to lose control of their life, and this is especially true for the elderly. They are concerned about losing their independence as they begin to need help with many daily activities they could once do on their own. Including them in the conversation will help you get on the same page about what type of care is required, what changes can be made, and where you can get help to take the load off when it is needed.
It’s also important to understand that they may be resistant to receiving the help you offer, so start slow and know that it may take a couple of conversations or different approaches before they agree to get help.
If you’re having trouble finding the best way to start the conversation, we share a few approaches in one of our latest blog posts. (Link to post.) Or, give us a call, and we will help you decide the best approach for you and your family.
Make a Plan
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Making a plan is so vital in your process of caring for your loved one. A well-thought-out plan will help ensure your loved one is receiving the care they deserve and that you care for yourself, so you don’t get burnt out! Taking on the responsibility of caring for your loved one can be challenging, but it should not be so consuming that you no longer have time for your hobbies and daily activities that make you happy!
We suggest you make a list of your needs and the needs of your loved one. Then, prioritize what can be done daily, weekly, and monthly, to help set you up for success.
Get Help and Understand Your Resources
Be realistic about how much care you can provide without sacrificing your health, relationships, and responsibilities. Typically, resources in each community are available to help without causing a financial burden to you and your family.
Do a quick google search for available resources for the elderly. Often you will find options for in-home care, adult day programs, respite day programs, senior companions, meal prep and delivery, and so much more. Depending on the size of the community, you will most likely have an Aging and Disability Resource Center that can help lead you to the type of care right for you and your family.
For Papa’s Sake Home Care offers many of these services to help give you and your loved one the compassionate care they deserve while remaining comfortable and safe at home. Below are a few resources in the Arlington Heights area that you may find helpful as you begin your search.
Take Care of the At-Home Safety Basics
As your loved one enters the next stage of their life and begins to need more help with daily tasks, safety must come first. If your loved one is getting in-home care at their own house or moving in with you, we suggest doing a quick “safety check” on the house level where they will be residing.
Below are a few things to check in your home.
- Are there a lot of trip hazards such as rugs, cords, and clutter?
- Is the bathroom easy to use? Do you have grab rails, a walk-in shower, etc.?
- Are the appliances easy to use and within reach?
- Are the most used items within reach reducing the amount of bending over or needing a step stool?
Preventing falls and injuries will go a long way in residing independently at home for as long as possible.
Understand Where You’re at Financially
Whether caring for your loved one at home or planning to hire in-home care, it will cost money. Many fear the financial burden it will have on your family as your loved one ages and begins to need care. At For Papa’s Sake Home Care, we pride ourselves on a level of care that focuses on high quality, compassion, and integrity so that your loved one feels safe, secure, and surrounded by people that care.
High-quality care isn’t the cheapest option available, but we can promise you it will give you a sense of relief knowing that your loved one is getting the care they deserve when you can’t be there every step of the way. Knowing this in advance will allow you to make a plan, sit down with your financial advisor and discuss your needs, wants, and have-to-haves so you can be comfortable without the weight of financial burden.
If you’re at the point of needing care and are not prepared with a plan or the resources to pay for high-quality care, there are organizations and agencies in your community who can help provide resources or financial assistance for you and your family.
Do Not Neglect your Self-care
We’ve said this time and time again, but we feel so strongly that you need to take care of yourself too! Many times, caregivers get so caught up in caring for their loved ones that they forget to care for themselves, causing burnout and other health problems.
For Papa’s Sake Home Care is here to help every step of the way. Reach out to learn more about how to keep your loved one safe and comfortable at home. We are here for the everyday tasks so you can worry less and focus more on what matters most.