Table of Contents
- See What Are The Issues
- What Might Be Holding You Back?
- Child Becomes the Parent, Parent Becomes the Child
- Support of Other Family Members
- Providing Quality Elderly Care to Your Loved Ones Can Be a Challenge Worth Taking
Elderly care has been a hot topic since the outbreak of COVID-19. Stories about systemic failures costing lives are too common, and they’re enough to make one consider taking their loved ones’ healthcare into their own hands.
It’s an understandable thought, but it can still be nerve-racking when it comes to knowing if that’s the best decision. In the following article, we’ll be sharing some advice if you plan on going this route. First, however, it’s important to deal with any doubts.
See What Are The Issues
What Might Be Holding You Back?
Asking this one simple question of yourself, your family, and your living situation is essential to being able to take on this responsibility. That means dealing with some of the most common stressors that can make you uncertain of your abilities to do the job right. Here are the four most common.
Child Becomes the Parent, Parent Becomes the Child
A parent who can no longer take care of themselves or who needs extra assistance to be able to do so can be hard to deal with emotionally. It’s a sign of transition that forces an adult to deal with their parent’s mortality as well as their own. When you have children of your own, it can add to the stress.
Taking in a parent means another mouth to feed as well as possible unforeseen medical expenses that create further strain on the household budget. Of course, this sort of move will not be made without some assistance from the elderly parent’s financial resources. However, healthcare costs can be quite expensive, and it is possible insurance won’t handle everything.
Taking care of an aging parent comes with a unique set of challenges physically, emotionally, mentally, and fiscally. You may have concerns that you don’t have the bandwidth or knowledge to handle it all. Taking it one step at a time and trying not to be overwhelmed by the big picture helps.
Support of Other Family Members
Families can be great sources of support throughout the journey, but you may be hesitant about taxing that relationship when it’s your blood relative. What if they’re not on board? What kind of strain will that create on the relationship?
Now that you’ve addressed the concerns that might be holding you back, it’s time to forge ahead. Your aging parents need you, and you want to make the most of this phase of life. Here are some suggestions for how to make it work.
1. Determine Existing Needs
Eldercare comes with a variety of needs you may or may not be equipped for. Some of these include the following:
- A larger amount of living space
- Higher grocery costs
- Transportation needs
- More storage
- Structural modifications to allow for handicapped assistance
How equipped for these are you going in? How much investment or how many modifications will you need to make to your existing lifestyle to make everything work?
2. Consider Improvements You May Need to Make
The elderly care home environment will require you to change your lifestyle and build improvements into your world. We’ve already touched on some of these in the first piece of advice, but there will be ongoing challenges as your parent’s condition changes over time. Plan on revisiting your plan and your needs often.
3. Discuss the Move With Your Spouse or Significant Other
No step into at-home elderly care should begin without first discussing it with your spouse or significant other. They signed up to be with you for life and to take care of you in sickness and in health. Still, the idea that they would have to do the same for your parent(s) may not have occurred to them when you were exchanging those vows.
Let him or her know what will be required to see if they’re a) on board and b) willing to take the journey without any feelings of resentment. A healthy relationship makes this decision a lot easier to make and adjust to over the long-term.
4. Be Open With Your Loved One
Senior care for your parent requires some buy-in from them as well. They need to know their lifestyle is about to change, that it’s for their own good, and that all of you will navigate it together as a family.
During this time, you should consider mapping out the trajectory. Not in ultra-specific terms perhaps, but there should be some discussion of how long the arrangement will be for and when outside help may need to become a part of the discussion.
5. Have the Financial Talk
While providing your own elderly care services to your parent(s) at home can save money, it will still cause all parties to reevaluate their budgets. If you can all reduce living expenses (likely), it’ll be a win-win scenario. You have to ensure everyone’s on the same financial page to prevent conflict, though.
6. Consider Hiring Your Own Caregiver
Being able to provide professional healthcare in the home environment can be the best of both worlds. That’s why you may want to consider a consumer-directed personal assistance program.
Just what is CDPAP? It’s a program that allows you to provide your aging parents or loved ones with home-health quality but puts you in the position of hiring and managing your own caregivers. That means you or another family member or friend could earn extra money while ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of your elderly parent.
7. Be Mindful of Changes in the Condition of Your Elderly Loved One
Finally, don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. Your parent’s condition may not always be as stable as it is now. In fact, there will come a point when it won’t be.
You have to be able to take an honest assessment of when that time comes to ensure they continue receiving the highest quality care. That’s seldom an easy decision to make, so enlist the aid of your other friends and family members as you do.
Providing Quality Elderly Care to Your Loved Ones Can Be a Challenge Worth Taking
That’s because elderly care at this distance can give you many more great memories together as you both enter new phases of life. As you consider this important decision, make sure you check out some of our other posts on late-in-life care, including what to do if you have a loved one in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s.