As your parents get into old age, you might have to care for them in your home. This is rarely an easy choice for any family to make, but when your parents are no longer able to live on their own, caring for them in your home can sometimes be the best option. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Understand How Much Care Is Needed
When acting as a caregiver, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed.
Before you make any decisions, make sure you know how much care your parent will need and whether this is a level of care that you are able to provide or whether a retirement home is the better choice.
Make a list of all the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that they will need help with, so you can get a better idea of how much care will be needed at different times of the day and night.
Will you need any equipment? Will you be able to apply for PCS to help offset some of the costs or make up for lost wages if you need to cut down your working hours?
Consider Your Own Health
When you know what your parent’s care needs are, you can decide if this is something that you can manage yourself or if you will need more help. You might look over the list and realize you will need some support.
Think carefully about how much care you can realistically offer without putting your own health at risk. If you take on too much, you will burn out or could get ill yourself. If this happens, you can’t care for anybody else, so it’s important to keep this in mind.
If you do decide you can’t cope alone, it can seem hard to know where to start with finding help and support with elder care, but if you put in the time, the work will pay off in the future. Finding the right help will take patience, but it can be well worth it if you are able to cut down your own workload and take proper care of yourself.
Keep an open mind and be flexible when it comes to where you find the help you need. Use the list of care needs you wrote to help you identify what kind of help you will need to have. You could try some of these ideas to allow you to take a break or cover the hours when you aren’t available:
- Look for a local adult day program. Your parent will be cared for and can socialize with other people.
- Hire in-home help to allow you to take breaks.
- Find a volunteer service that offers companionship for the elderly.
- For a longer break, use a respite care service.
- Sign up for a meal delivery service to give you a rest from cooking.
- Ask other family members to run errands, such as picking up groceries, preparing meals, or housework.