Most people wish that they could turn back time, unfortunately that’s not possible. If you’re a parent and have kids of your own, your children are no longer the only ones you have to take care of.
If you have elderly parents and you’ve taken on the responsibility of caring for and making all major decisions in their life, you’ll soon realize that your “roles have been reversed” and trust me, it’s a hard pill to swallow for everyone involved. Becoming their primary caregiver isn’t really something you’re able to prepare for and it happens to all of us, whether we’re ready for it or not!
Now that your parents are older, your roles in life are reversing. You have to start figuring out what will be best for them without altering your life too much. Now, you may be asking yourself, “How do I keep up the pace and ultimately please everyone around me?” Well, you are not alone, it’s natural to think that way, especially if you have a family/significant other or a career. You may try to balance everything in order to keep everyone happy, but that won’t cut it! Just visiting your loved one once a week, or calling to check up on them each day won’t be enough anymore. Your parent needs hands-on care, that will require you to physically be there with them.
The type of assistance your loved one will need from you could include:
- Making sure they’re eat properly & regularly
- Ensuring that they’re taking their medications on time
- Working with them to put a financial plan in place to ensure that their money isn’t being spent carelessly
- Taking the time to create a safe home environment for them to live in
- Making sure they are attending their regular doctor visits and any other medical checkups needed
There are many more things they may need help with depending on where they live, or their physical & mental condition. These may include:
- Dementia Care
- Transportation – if they are bound by a wheel chair for instance
- Nutritional Care
- Disability & Injury
- Hospice Care
Should Your Loved One Be Placed In a Nursing Home or Other Assisted Living Facility?
Depending on your financial situation or if your mom/dad needs 24/7 medical care, you may have to consider placing your parent in an Assisted Living or Nursing Home Facility. If you do have other family members to lean on when making the final decision, remember that if they are not going to pitch in to help provide day-to-day care, you have to do what is best and placing them in either a long term or short term care facility may be the solution. The question remains “How do you cope?” “How do you deal with situations like this without alienating every member of your family?”
First understand, it’s not about you and what that means that it is not about guilt and what some think may be the “Right thing to do”. Your parent is a lot older now and they are going to need a lot of care and attention.
A good idea is to start off by consulting with your parent’s doctor. Set up an appointment with them to discuss the your elder’s and mental well-being. If needed you can also contact their health insurance and find out what services are covered so that you can plan ahead for any unforeseen situations. Every hospital has an elder care group of some type, be sure to use that you your advantage. The medical coverage will also have affiliations with local senior organizations that you can contact if the need arises. Between the doctor and the medical coverage group, you may be able to determine the types of help and living style your parents current status requires.
So What’s Next?
Well, once you’ve figured out your parent’s medical coverage and all the resources you have at your disposal, all you may need to do is hire a Properly Trained Caregiver to go into the home and help look after your mom/dad a few days per week, to help with showers, errands, housekeeping, meals and medications. In the event that you parent’s health is declining, getting a Visiting Nurse and a Caregiver to come in daily may be necessary.
If you have children of your own, then you know that keeping your child safe is priority #1 and putting general safety precautions in place is your first instinct. Well, you’ll soon learn that it not only applies to your children, If safety in their home is not at the level it should be, keep making the necessary adjustments until it is accomplished. It’s better to prevent a fall, rather than having to deal with the aftermath and injury caused by one. There are Senior Care Companies that offer FREE In-Home Safety Assessments, where they will come into your home or your parent’s home to help you assess how safe it is and then give you the proper measure needed to make it a safe place to live. At Your Home Team Care we offer Free In- Home Safety Assessments conducted by a Registered Nurse, who will walk through your parent’s home and guide you through the safety measures needed. Be sure to contact us if you’d like to schedule a your FREE Appointment.
It may take some time to figure out exactly what needs to be done in order to help care for your aging parent, but it will be well worth it because your mom/dad will be safe and well taken care of. Be sure to set aside some time to discuss all of your care-giving plans with your family.
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and happy with the final decisions made. When your parents are older the best thing you can give them is your time.