Preparing to Care for an Elderly Parent at Home

There may come the point when you have to start thinking about care options for your elderly parents or another relative that you’re close to. It’s always a difficult decision to make and in some circumstances finding a specialist care facility may be the only option. However, a lot of people decide to move their parents into their homes instead and become their caregivers. There are various benefits to doing this, and sometimes it is more cost-effective to do this rather than paying for a care home. Nonetheless, moving an elderly relative into your living space does come with challenges, and there are specific changes you will need to make. Here are some things that you should do to prepare if you’re moving an elderly parent/relative into your home.

Modify Your Living Space

You may need to make suitable modifications to your home to make it easier for your elderly parent to get around. Staircases might require you to install support bars or even stairlifts. Doorways and walls might have to be widened to make way for wheelchairs or other mobility support. Bathrooms and showers should also have support bars installed to help them use the facilities independently for as long as possible.

Organize Support

If you have never cared for an elderly person before you will need to make sure you have the right support. It isn’t always a straightforward process and can become physically and mentally draining in some circumstances. Furthermore, if your elderly parents require specific care for a health condition, this support and treatment needs to be arranged before they move in with you. For more useful information about care, look at this aging parent checklist. You should also look into any financial aid you are entitled to as a carer for the elderly, especially if taking on this role has meant you have had to reduce your working hours or leave your job altogether.

Give Them Independence and Space

Although they might not be able to do certain things on their own anymore, it’s still essential that you give them as much independence as you can to help keep their dignity intact. Of course, some circumstances will require more hands-on care and attention, but for less demanding conditions giving them their space will be greatly appreciated. It can be difficult for your parent to adjust to the role reversal of their child becoming the caregiver.

Talk to Your Other Family Members

Before your parent moves in, discuss with your other family members that reside with you about how they feel about the situation. Everybody must be comfortable with your parent moving in and understanding how they can help to care for them. It’s also worth talking to any siblings or other relatives who can help to share the duties of care with you, as you will need to take time off for your well-being, too.

Caring for an elderly relative at home is a very noble thing to do, but it’s essential that you carefully consider how much this will change your everyday life. To help prepare your home and yourself to look after an elderly parent, use the tips above as a brief guide.