Inevitably, most of us must face the fact that our parents are aging and need additional care. Our parents may be having difficulty moving about. They may be neglecting their personal care, or showing a lack of interest in activities. They may be exhibiting confusion or uncertainty when performing tasks. Worse yet, they may have some unexplained bruising.
As children of elderly parents, we grapple with guilt over the tough decisions that need to be made to safeguard their health. How can we ensure that they receive proper care while allowing them to maintain some level of independence, dignity and an acceptable quality of life?
One option you might be considering is to move them and take care of them from your own home. Though this might be a solution, it has its own set of complications, beginning with the fact that bringing parents to live at home will affect the entire family and can add to the daily stress of balancing family life and possibly career. Moreover, most elderly people want to live out their days at home, surrounded by their possessions and memories. They resist changes to their routines and loss of control of their lives.
To decide to let your parents stay in their own homes has its own set of considerations. There are many steps that must be taken to ensure that they are living comfortably and safely in their house.
There is no one right decision or best place to care for your elderly parents. It all depends on their unique needs and circumstances; but fundamental to their ongoing independence, comfort, and safety is providing the right kind of caregiving.
Whether in their home, or in your own home, there are a variety of in home help options available to assist with different aspects of your parents’ lives:
Companion or homemaker level caregivers can assist your parents with home management duties such as housekeeping, laundry, transportation, meal planning and preparation, and shopping assistance. They can also help relieve loneliness and provide continual social interaction.
Home Health Aides or Certified Nursing Assistants can assist your parents with personal hygiene, bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, eating, supervising the administration of medications, and taking them to their appointments.
More complex medical situations might call for the services of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to monitor your parent’s condition, administer their medication, or manage their wound care.
Planning and ensuring the best help for your parents will allow them to happily live out their days; but nothing goes as far as the love and care that you, as their child, can give them. Combining professional help with your own bonding time, makes for the best combination of caregiving.
Learn more about in home caregivers options.