Old age and illness can be a difficult and incredibly stressful and expensive time for any family. The time may come when your own parents can no longer cope on their own, or you find that they begin to lose their memory or struggle with basic daily tasks. At this point, you may feel that it could be time for you to review their current care regime. The transition from a family member or child to caregiver can be difficult to deal with, and at times it is advisable to accept professional medical health and support rather than trying to go it alone. So, if you are currently in a position when you need to review the care that your elderly relatives receive, then it is important to remain realistic and also put yourself first.
First and foremost you will need to sit down and have a conversation about just how much you can afford to pay for and decide if any changes need to be made in order to finance the care plan that you are interested in. You may need to remortgage your property or consider other outlets to help ensure that your elderly family members can get the professional help that they so need. The other alternative is that you undertake some of the care yourself and invite your relative to live full time in your own home. While you might think that you are prepared to provide around the clock care, if you are trying to manage a full-time job and look after your own family, then you perhaps do not have the amount of time available as you had previously thought. Remain realistic and understand how much care and time is needed to look after your relatives. Be sure that you are taking your own needs and health into consideration also, and do not feel guilty or upset if you feel that you need to take on some additional professional care to help you to manage the load.
When it comes to caring for an elderly relative or close family member, you need to make sure that you remember you are not alone. It can feel incredibly stressful or make you feel very isolated if you are at home administrating care. Ensuring that your loved one is kept comfortable and well can be made easier by spreading and sharing the care. This way, you can also make sure that you have some time for you, and that you can get your entire family involved also. You could ask other family members that live nearby to help you to with simply daily chores, such as food shopping or washing clothes. Consider sending your elderly relative to a daycare center, so that they can enjoy socializing. This could give you a break too. If you are seriously struggling and can afford to do so, then hiring a home care assistant for a few hours each day can give you some support with the more intensive tasks. If you take time to spread and share care, then you will ensure that your relative not only meets and engages with lots of different people, but you can also ensure that you yourself have a much-needed rest from your caring responsibilities.
Get your home ready
If you have decided that you are going to act as the primary caregiver and are ready to welcome your elderly relative into your home, then you need to make sure that you get your own property prepped and prepared in time for their arrival. Be sure to check your property structurally to ensure that there are no draughts or leaks and that all pipework is in full working order. If you have radiators and heating around the house, then make sure that these are set at a comfortable temperature. You should also anticipate that any increased heating bills and changes to your home could result in an increase in home maintenance costs also, so you will need to get prepared to assume and cover these. Make sure that you explain to your elderly relatives that your home is now their home also, to ensure that they feel comfortable and relaxed around the house. Explain that they are not a burden, but rather you want to have them close to you to provide them with the love and attention that they need.
If you have done as much as you can, but feel that you can no longer cope with providing care full time from your own home, then now could be the time to consider nursing and professional medical support for your elderly relative. Families Choice Home Care provides information about the various types of support that you feel are right for yourself and your relative. Remember that you may feel guilty and upset about sending your parent or relative into a care home, but you do not need to feel this way. Your elderly relative will receive the around the clock support and care that they need so that they feel loved and cared for at all times. Plus, you will still enjoy visiting times and share precious moments together.
Taking care of elderly relatives can be a difficult and stressful task and responsibility to take on, in particular, if you have your own family to look after. However, make sure that you decide which options work best for you and your relatives. You could decide to provide a level of home care for as long as possible. If this is your preferred option, then make sure that you get your home ready and consider hiring a home help to assist if you are struggling. Be sure to prepare for any additional costs also. Finally, do not feel guilty when choosing the right care home for your relative. Remember that they will be in a safe and secure place, where they are still very much loved during their final years.