There comes a point when your parents start to move from active seniors into the group that needs extra care. And actually, as children, it is your opportunity to give back some of the care that you soaked up while you were little. Of course, the situation can be trickier from time to time.
|Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
It helps if you have conversations in advance about things like care homes, home care, and even more serious things like ‘end of life care’. It can be difficult to have these conversations, but it is easier than trying to make them on the spot at a later date.
There will be times while you are caring for your parents you see that you are getting overwhelmed, or the rate at which they need extra care is increasing. It pays to take a step back and asses the situation. Here are some areas that you can consider:
- Medical needs
- Personal Hygiene
- Meal Preparations
- Social Interaction
- Home Safety
- Cognitive health - for example, what is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s? It is time to find out.
While we like to think we are all as strong we need for as long as we need, the truth is from time to time, we will need help. If you are going over to your parents to care for them a few times a day, how will you fit in your own life and your job? Consider your situation too.
- How is your health?
- Do you have the time?
- Do you live close enough?
It is very important that until they can no longer make decisions that you allow them to make as many for themselves as they can. And, you must know that you might not like what they decide. Like stopping a medication, or trying alternative therapies. In this scenario - you are the person who supports their decisions and helps them maximize what that means.
It shouldn’t be a factor, but the sad reality is that it is. The cost of care stacks steeply and quickly. Nurses, medications, fitting specialist items like stair-lifts or moving to an assisted living home. All costs money and that is without the standard bills like food, electricity and heating.
You might be able to apply for a range of financial help, but you’ll need to explore these with your parents in advance too. So that you know their situation and know what applies and what doesn’t.
There will come a time, that the chair that has always been in the hallway is a trip hazard rather than an antique. The beautiful bedroom rug causes an accident. The safety of the home will change. It is better that you take care of these earlier on. Adding grab bars to the bath, and outside any doors with steps. Give the rooms extra light too. And keep everything within easy reach.
Caring for your parents or an ageing relative can be emotionally and physically demanding, so you have to make sure that you take care of yourself too.