Among the most honorable actions adult children can make is to offer to care for their elderly parent in their home. Our parents raised us while we were kids, so it seems appropriate to reciprocate when it becomes hazardous for Dad or Mom to live on their own. However, there are a wide variety of concerns to work out with your siblings before taking this step. Live Well at Home, the leading supplier of Lincoln dementia care, shares the key questions to ask in order to get the best care solution for your loved one:
Do you or one of your brothers or sisters have sufficient room? If setting aside a room for Mom will result in rearranging of the kids’ bedrooms, such as doubling up sisters to share a room or requiring a family member to start sleeping on the couch, it’s essential to weigh this disruption against the advantages to the senior parent.
Will home customizations be necessary? Walk through each sibling’s home who may be thinking about moving Dad in, and imagine it from the perspective of an older adult. Are paths clear between the older person’s bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc.? Are there any falling hazards, such as throw rugs? Will additional safety items need to be set up, for example grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home medical equipment? Are there steps to manage? Is the home wheelchair-accessible?
Will somebody be home for the duration of the day? Isolation and the challenges inherent with an older person being alone will still be a concern if the other adults in the house are working outside of the home.
Is the whole family absolutely on board with the plan? Although you may be entirely committed to your aging parent’s new living arrangements, resentment or reluctance on the part of your spouse can trigger stress and relationship challenges. Ensure each of the siblings considering providing care talks through the situation honestly and openly with the other adults in the home before taking this decision.
Are you prepared to manage increasing care needs? Although Mom may have the need for just a little extra help now, disease progression and the typical frailties connected with growing older will change the level of care needed over time. Contemplate with your siblings such potential challenges as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another essential point to consider is the effect that giving up standing as “head of the household” can cause, as it is extremely problematic for some older adults. It will take some advance thoughtful planning to determine how to best help the senior preserve dignity, freedom and a sense of control.
If you and your sisters and brothers are unsure about your ability to provide the best care for an aging loved one, another option that may be better for both the older person and your family is the addition of a home care provider, such as Live Well at Home. Our experienced caregivers partner with families to make sure that older adults remain safe and thriving in their homes – whether that includes just a couple of hours each week of companionship to improve socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with housecleaning and meal preparation, or full-time, live-in care. We provide a free in-home meeting to learn more about the senior and to recommend a plan of care to address all concerns. Call on Live Well at Home, the top provider of Lincoln dementia care, at 916-459-3220 or via our online form to learn more about our Lincoln dementia care and home care services.