One of the more honorable actions adult children can make is to start taking care of elderly parents in their own home. Our parents took care of us when we were little, so it seems fair to reciprocate when it becomes dangerous for Mom or Dad to live on their own. But there are a number of points to talk through with your sisters and brothers before making this step. Advanced Home Health Care, the top providers of in-home care services seniors need, defines the major questions to consider to prepare for the best care solution for your loved one:
Do you or one of your brothers or sisters have plenty of space? If setting aside a room for Mom will create the need for modifying the kids’ accommodations, such as doubling up siblings to share a room or requiring someone to start sleeping on the sofa, it’s necessary to weigh this disruption against the benefits to the senior parent.
Will home renovations be necessary? Go for a walk through each person’s house who might be considering moving Dad in, and picture it from the point of view of an older adult. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any tripping risks, like throw rugs? Will further safety items need to be installed, such as grab bars, a raised toilet seat, or other home medical equipment? Are there staircases to manage? Is the home wheelchair-accessible?
Will somebody be available at home during the day? Isolation and the potential risks inherent with an older adult being alone will continue to be a concern if the other adults in the house are working outside of the home.
Are all family members totally on board with the decision? Although you may be totally dedicated to your aging parent’s new living arrangements, reluctance or resentment in your spouse can trigger stress and relationship troubles. Ensure each of the siblings considering providing care talks through the idea honestly and openly with the other adults in the home before making this change.
Are you equipped to manage increasing care needs? Although Dad may need to have just a little extra assistance now, disease progression and the standard frailties connected with growing older will change the level of care needed over time. Think through with your siblings such possible complications as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
One more essential point to consider is the effect that giving up status as “head of the household” can cause, as it is extremely difficult for some seniors. It will take some advance thoughtful planning to decide how to best help the older person maintain self-respect, self-reliance and a sense of control.
If you and your siblings are unsure about your ability to provide the best care for an older loved one, another alternative that may be better for both the older adult and your family is the addition of a home care provider, such as Advanced Home Health Care. Our expert caregivers work with families to ensure older adults remain safe and thriving in their homes – whether that requires just a couple of hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care support for safe bathing and dressing, help with housekeeping and meal preparation, or full-time, live-in care. We offer a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about the senior and to propose a plan for taking care of elderly parents. Contact Advanced Home Health Care online or reach our care team at 800.791.7785 for more information about our in-home care and rehabilitation services in Keokuk, IA and the surrounding areas. To learn more about the other areas we serve in Iowa, please see our Service Areas page.