It is hard to see your elderly parent needing assistance. As you get older the parent-child roles you once had begin to change, and you are put into a situation where you will now have to care for them.
As your parents’ health begins to deteriorate it may be necessary for them to move in with you, or keep them in their home and hire private home heathcare caregivers.
Most adults caring for their parents are still working and possibly have children living at home, and are not able to commit a large amount of money to time to caring for someone else. This can create a lot of stress within your house hold to manage the growing responsibility of caring for an aging parent.
For many families assisted living facilities are not an option. For either financial reasons or moral feelings, many people choose to have their elderly parents move in with them, or keep them in their own homes with assistance. As your parent ages there may come a time where you feel they are unable to care for them self. If either their physical or mental ability cause a threat to them while home alone, it may be necessary to hire an in-home caregiver. In an ideal world, you would be able to stay home and care for your parent yourself. However, with work, social commitments, volunteering and even sleeping, this may not be possible.
Before deciding on in-home healthcare, you first need to decide if it is appropriate for your elderly parent. Sometimes a parent may need to move in with you, but is not quite ready for in-home care. Be open with your parent and be involved in their healthcare with their doctor. If their mental ability is fading and causes you to fear for their safety when you are not around, it may be time to consider in-home care. Forgetfulness, such as leaving a candle burning or leaving the stove on, can lead to serious problems like burning themselves or setting the house on fire. Consider their physical ability, too. If you parent is having trouble getting up and down the stairs or using the bathroom alone, they may need assistance, as well. A fall can cause serious damage for someone with weak bones. Also, if they fall somewhere and cannot get up or reach the phone, they could be injured and immobile for a long period of time
Remember that your parent may be scared of their changing condition. It is important to continue to be as open as possible and still allow them some freedoms that they are used to. They may become very frustrated with an inability to do things that they found easy before.
Once you have determined that your parent is in need of in-home care, the next step is to begin interviewing in-home caregivers. Allow your parent to be involved in this decision if possible, so they do not feel like they are losing control. Do not feel pressured to hire the first person you interview. Then schedule someone to drop by a couple times a day. If this is helpful, you may have them stay for longer periods of time or stay through the night, if that is needed. Speak with the in-home caregiver and your parent’s doctor to determine what time or care would be best for them. Do not be afraid to try out different caregivers or companies. The most important thing is that the caregiver is a good fit for your family and situation and that your parent is safe. As your parent continues to age, the amount or type of care that is being given may need to change, so consult with the caregiver and doctor often.