Perhaps the most noble and admirable decision adult children can make is to open up their home to aging parents. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed help and support, so it seems like a no-brainer to reciprocate when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone. But there are certain factors to take into account before taking this step. JFS Care outlines some of the key questions to consider:
Do you possess sufficient space? If setting up a spot for Mom can lead to shuffling the kids’ accommodations, for example, doubling up siblings to share a space or necessitating a person to sleep on the couch, it is essential to weigh this disruption versus the value to the senior.
Are home modifications needed? Walk through the house and try to see it through the point of view of a senior. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any sort of tripping risks, such as throw rugs? Do you need to put in grab bars, a raised toilet seat, or other home healthcare equipment? Are there any stairs to maneuver? Is the home wheelchair-accessible?
Will someone be at home throughout the day? Loneliness and the dangers of being alone will still be a problem in the event that you and your spouse work outside of the home.
Is everyone fully on board with the plan? Although you could be completely committed to your aging parents’ new living arrangements, feelings of hesitancy or bitterness on the part of your spouse can create stress and relationship difficulties.
Are you prepared to manage ever-increasing care needs? While Dad might need just a little additional assistance now, disease progression and the normal frailties related to aging will change the degree of care needed at some point. Think about such potential complications as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another consideration is the impact that giving up status as “head of the household” can have on some older adults. It will require some advance careful planning to find out how to best help the older adult maintain self-esteem, autonomy and a sense of control.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your ability to care for your aging parents, another choice may be better suited for both your loved one and your family. One choice to look into could be the addition of Los Angeles, CA home care services, such as JFS Care. Our skilled caregivers partner with families to ensure your loved one stays safe and thrives inside his or her home – whether that involves a few hours each week of companionship to enhance socialization, personal care support for safe bathing and dressing, help with household chores and meal preparation, or full-time, live-in care. We provide a free-of-charge in-home consultation to learn more about your loved one and to recommend a strategy of care to manage all concerns. E-mail us for more information about our Los Angeles, CA home care services.