As we age, we all require a little more care but that doesn’t mean that you should feel obliged to move your parents into a care home the second they need a bit of help. For many people, staying at home for as long as possible is really important. Having familiar surroundings brings comfort and allows elderly people to hold on to their independence that little bit longer.
But staying at home can be tough. It is very likely that you will have to take on a lot of the work necessary to keep their household going as well as your own and when time is so precious, it’s all too easy to find your nerves fraying at the edges.
So what can you do to make this time positive for everyone?
Get the Help You Need
Getting help is absolutely essential. Even hiring a cleaner to come for a couple of hours a week can make a significant difference and take a lot of pressure off you. Though you might feel a bit weird about this if you haven’t had a cleaner before. However, more and more people are now hiring cleaners as a more effective way to spend their time and money.
While bringing carers in each day is a great solution for some people, you should also explore the option of caring for your parents yourself – and getting paid to do it. This model by FreedomCare might sound strange but if you think about it, you are the person your parents trust the most and you can’t give up work to care for them. By turning their care into part of your role, everyone will benefit.
Spend Quality Time Together
When you are worrying about keeping the house clean and making sure your parents are eating well and taking all their medication, it can be tough to then find the time to spend real quality time together. The more enforced time you have, the harder it is to maintain your previous relationship.
Though your main priority might be to keep your parents safe, your concern can be quite worrying for them. If you are calling them out every time they forget a name or a word or going through their cupboards on every visit, it can feel more like a test than anything else. Try to build time into your week where you can sit and chat together or go out without any other pressures.
Know When It’s Time to Move On
Though staying at home for as long as possible is the goal, there may come a time when this simply isn’t feasible any more. Talking openly about going into care is a definite plus and you should be aiming to give your parents as much agency as you can. If you can persuade them to make the decision themselves, it will be a lot easier.
There is no right or wrong way to care for aging parents but the more you talk about these things, the better your chances are of making a good decision for everyone.