As your parents reach their old age, it might become necessary to care for them in your home. This is rarely an easy decision for any family to make, but when your parents are no longer able to live on their own, caring for them in your home can sometimes be the best choice. Here are some tips to make this choice easier.
Understand How Much Care Is Needed
When acting as a caregiver, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed and tired.
Before you make any decisions, work out exactly how much care your parent really needs and whether this is care that you are able to give or whether a retirement home is the better option.
Make a list of all the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that they will need help with, so you can get a clear idea of how much care will be needed at different times of the day and night. You can get a clearer picture of how much supervision is needed and when too.
Will you need any equipment to help you care for your parent? Will you be able to apply for Freedomcare to help offset some of the costs or make up for lost wages if you need to reduce your working hours?
Consider Your Own Health
When you know what your parent’s care needs are, you can decide if you can manage this care yourself or if you will need help. You might look over the list and realize you will need support.
Think carefully about how much care you can realistically offer without damaging your own health. If you take on too much, you will burn out or could become ill yourself. If this happens, you can’t care for anyone else, so it’s important to take into account.
If you do decide you can’t manage alone, it can seem hard to know where to start with finding help and support with elder care, but if you invest the time, the work will pay off in the future. Finding the right help will require patience, but it can be well worth it if you are able to reduce your own workload and take better care of yourself.
Keep an open mind and be flexible when it comes to where you find the help you need. Use the list of care needs you wrote to help you identify what kind of help will need to have. You could try some of these ideas to get help or at least to allow you to take a break:
- Find a local adult day program. Your parent will be cared for and can socialize with someone other than you.
- Hire in-home help to allow you to take breaks.
- Find a volunteer service that offers companionship for the elderly.
- For a longer break, use a respite care service.
- Sign up for a meal delivery service to give you a break from cooking.
- Ask other family members to run errands, such as buying groceries, preparing meals, or housework.
- Buy caregiving supplies in bulk. Order online for home delivery to make things easier.