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3 Things to Consider When Caring for Elderly Parents

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Is your elderly loved one facing preventable struggles in their own home? Maybe they are unable to cook proper meals for themselves or they need help with bathing or dressing. Caring for elderly parents in the home is the only option for many people. While it takes some adjustment, it’s an awesome honor to be able to care for your loved ones at this stage of their life. Below are a few things to consider if you’re planning to move your elderly parents in with you. 

Space Requirements When Caring for an Elderly Parent

With your parents included, can you create a comfortable and livable environment for everyone in the house? Taking care of an elderly parent is not a specific science, so be sure to get clear about expectations and needs. 

Keep in mind that privacy is important, both for your own life and for theirs. Do you have the protective measures necessary for them to live comfortably? This is going to depend on both their physical and emotional capacity. If possible, open up a candid conversation with them to accurately decide what they need. Alterations may have to be made to household equipment (the tub, toilet, etc) so they can navigate the house on their own without the risk of injury. This is one instance in which it can be handy to have the additional help in-home aides provide. Having someone with them can be the difference between a complete bathroom remodel and leaving things as-is, with an extra set of helping hands. 

Emotional Boundaries While Taking Care of an Elderly Parent

In the beginning, it’s often compelling to focus on the positives. You’re probably grateful that your life has allowed you to tend to your loved ones at all, and rightfully so! As things change, make sure you keep your own humanity in mind. Your aging parent has important needs that may increase with time. If communication is clear, a loving conversation can work a little magic to help you identify precisely what aspects of caring for elderly parents have become the most difficult. With everything clearly on the table, make your decision about what you can and can’t do. It’s better for everyone to become aware of any potential overloads now before more serious problems take shape unexpectedly.

It’s important to have strong boundaries around what you’ll be able to do as you care for your elderly parents. Boundaries provide you with a feeling of security, without depriving you of the experience of being there for them. It’s beautiful to devote the majority of your free time to them, however, it makes just as much sense to have a plan for balancing the ever-present obligations of your life. Extra help might be supportive to you and your parents.

Keeping an Open Mind with Care Options

Having help in the house can provide both you and your aging loved ones with more efficiently used time and additional independence. If their mental state causes them to wander, it’s better to have someone paying closer attention. If they fall, they won’t have to wait for you to hear and respond to their calls, and any possible injuries can be addressed immediately.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if there are needs you simply can’t meet. Having in-home care can take some of the pressure off. It might even inadvertently improve your existing relationship with your elderly parents. 

Next Steps 

There are lots of options available that you or your loved ones may have never considered. It’s recommended to begin any in-home care for only the necessities as everyone adjusts to these new circumstances. If it’s something everyone is open to, caring for your aging parent with the help of licensed individuals can ease you into this new life. And it allows you to keep up with your other obligations at the same time. Contact us for more information on how our home care services might benefit you and your family today. 

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