The life cycle is just that: a cycle. Our parents have us as the children they care for and then as we mature, they eventually become parents that we look after in their golden years. As most humans age, the thought of living independently diminishes as age increases. The classic “what ifs” arise, health issues that may need constant attention become a thing, and for some, a desolate nature just doesn’t sound appealing.
So what are the options? Nursing homes aren’t for everyone. But living with the loved ones you raised? Now we’re talking. Although that plan may be legitimate, here are a few things that need to take place when a family decides to begin caring for their parents in the comfort of their own home.
Make Your Home Senior Appropriate
Senior proofing your home isn’t ideal, but if an aging parent is going to be living with you, then it is absolutely necessary. Single story homes are best given the declining ability for seniors to get up and down the stairs without issues. However, if you’re already settled into a home with stairs, there are options like stairlifts and home elevators.
If your parents are going to be staying at your place for their elder years, then you have to ensure all healthcare initiatives are in order. Things like proper doctors, doctor visits, medicines, equipment and more must always be taken into consideration when caring for an older individual. Unlike nursing homes and establishments in that nature, there won’t be immediate professional care at your disposal unless you’re breaking the bank to pay for it, so staying on top of things for your parent is key.
Educating All Family Members
Teamwork makes the dream work. When it comes to caring for a senior, every family member living in the house and alongside their elderly family member will need to be educated on proper care. Establishing protocols, knowing proper procedures, knowing when professional help may be needed, and building overall awareness is essential to successful care.
Is Your Relationship Ready For This?
Moving parents into your home can be a toll on relationships. Your privacy will take a dip, time spent with your significant other may decrease, and intimacy, in general, could change. Every relationship isn’t ready for a lifestyle change, so preparing your significant other and having a conversation about this life-changing event is necessary. Not all significant others want the responsibility of being involved with living with an elderly parent, so ensure your partner is on board before going forward.
Much like living in a nursing home, caring for senior parents can be expensive. If the senior parents aren’t able to afford the cost of all medical, personal and daily living expenses, that may be another burden placed on your shoulders. It can be extremely difficult paying for a house, tackling monthly bills, food for everyone, and supporting parents on top of that. Have a discussion with your parents about budgeting, the possibility of assisting with finances, and if at all they can possibly support themselves financially.
With the plethora of seniors doing everything they can to avoid the nursing home, the rise in home health care has been significant. Several health agencies have created businesses where certified home health aides can care for a senior right at their home. Home health aides are able to assists with medication management, diet, and nutrition, daily living needs, companionship and more. This area of healthcare is ascending and is the perfect option for nearly every senior parent.
There is so much to consider when you decide to care for your parents in your home, but with the right conversations, proper education, and resources, it can be a smooth process for the parents, the family, and anyone else involved. They raised you and now it’s time to return the favor. Just trust the process, and keeping caring with compassion and love.