Probably the most noble and admirable decision adult children will make is to open up their house to an aging parent. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed help and support, so it seems like a no-brainer to return the favor when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone. But there are a number of considerations to take into account before taking this step. Comprehensive Home Care outlines a number of the key questions to think about when caring for older parents and considering having them move into your home:
Is there sufficient space? If setting up a room for Mom can lead to shuffling the kids’ accommodations, for example, doubling up siblings to share an area or necessitating a person to sleep on the couch, it is important to weigh this disruption versus the value to the senior loved one.
Are home modifications required? Walk through your home and try to see it through the viewpoint of a senior. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen area, etc.? Are there any tripping dangers, such as throw rugs? Should you install grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home healthcare equipment? Are there any stairs to maneuver? Is the house wheelchair-accessible?
Will someone be at home each day? Isolation and the dangers of being left alone will still be a problem in the event that you and your spouse work outside the home.
Is everyone completely agreeable with the plan? While you may be thoroughly convinced of your senior parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of reluctance, or resentment on the part of your spouse can create stress and relationship issues.
Are you prepared to handle increasing care needs? While Dad might need just a little additional help now, disease progression and the normal frailties associated with aging will change the amount of care needed with time. Think about such potential complications such as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another factor to consider is the fact that giving up status as “head of the household” is extremely challenging for some seniors. It takes some prior careful planning to figure out the best way to help the older adult maintain self-esteem, autonomy and a sense of control.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your ability to look after your elderly loved one, another choice may be better suited to both the senior and your family. One option to take a look at could be the addition of an in-home senior care provider, such as Comprehensive Home Care. Our knowledgeable caregivers partner with families in Charlotte so that seniors stay safe and thrive inside their homes – whether that involves just a couple of hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with household chores and meal preparation, or round-the-clock, live-in care. We provide a free in-home consultation to find out about your senior loved one and then suggest a strategy of care to handle all concerns. Call us today at 704-333-5214 or contact us online to find out more about our Charlotte, NC, senior care services.