The most commendable and admirable decision adult children will make is to open up their house to helping elderly parents. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed help and support, so it seems like a no-brainer to reciprocate when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone. But there are a number of considerations to take into account before you take this step helping elderly parents. Atlanta Home Care Partners, Inc. details some of the key questions to think about:
Is there sufficient space? If setting up an area for Mom will lead to shuffling the kids’ accommodations, for example, doubling up siblings to share a space or requiring a person to sleep on the sofa, it is necessary to weigh this disruption alongside the health benefits to the senior loved one.
Are home modifications needed? Walk through your home and try to see it through the viewpoint of your elderly parents. Are pathways clear between your loved one’s room, bath room, kitchen area, etc.? Are there any sort of tripping hazards, such as throw rugs? Do you need to install grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home medical equipment? What about stairs to maneuver? Is the house wheelchair-accessible?
Will someone be at home throughout the day? Loneliness and the dangers of being left alone will still be a worry in the event that you and your spouse work outside the home when helping elderly parents.
Is everyone fully agreeable with the plan? While you can be entirely invested in your aging parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of hesitancy or resentment on the part of your spouse can add pressure and relationship difficulties.
Are you prepared to handle increasing care needs? While Dad may need a little additional help now, disease progression and the normal frailties associated with aging will change the degree of care needed at some point. Think about such potential challenges as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another consideration is the impact that giving up status as “head of the household” is incredibly hard for some older adults. Normally it takes some prior careful planning to figure out the best way to help the senior maintain self-esteem, independence and a sense of control.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your capacity to take care of your elderly parents, another alternative may be better suited to both your senior loved one and your family. One option to take into consideration when thinking of helping your elderly parents could be the addition of an in-home care provider, like Atlanta Home Care Partners, Inc. Our trained caregivers partner with families to make sure your loved one stays safe and thrives inside his or her home—whether that involves just a few hours each week of companionship to encourage socialization, personal care support for safe bathing and dressing, help with housework and preparing meals. We provide a complimentary in-home consultation to find out more about the senior and to recommend a strategy of care to manage all concerns in helping elderly parents. Contact us to find out more about our home care services in Atlanta.