Probably one of the most commendable and admirable choices adult children can make is to open up their house to an aging parent. Our parents raised and took care of us when we needed help and support, so it seems like a no-brainer to return the favor when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live alone. But there are many factors to take into account before taking this step. Midnight Sun Home Care, providers of the high quality Anchorage respite care families trust, details some of the key questions to think about regarding senior living arrangements:
Is there adequate space? If setting up a room for Mom can lead to shuffling the kids’ accommodations, such as doubling up siblings to share a room or requiring a person to sleep on the sofa, it is important to weigh this disruption alongside the health benefits to the senior loved one.
Are home modifications required? Walk through your home and try to see it through the perspective of a senior. Are pathways clear between the senior’s room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any sort of tripping hazards, such as throw rugs? Should you put in grab bars, an elevated 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? Isolation and the dangers of being left alone will still be a worry in the event that you and your spouse work outside the home.
Is everyone fully on board with the idea? Although you could be comfortable with your aging parent’s new senior living arrangements, feelings of reluctance or resentment on the part of your spouse can create tension and relationship challenges.
Are you in a position to handle increasing care needs? While Dad may need just a little additional help now, disease progression and the normal frailties related to aging will change the level of care needed at some point. Think about such possible complications as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another thing to consider is the effect that giving up status as “head of the household” can be extremely challenging for some seniors. It will require some prior careful planning to figure out the best way to help the older adult maintain self-esteem, autonomy and a sense of control.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your capacity to look after your elderly loved one, another alternative may be better suited to both the senior and your family. One choice to think about could be the addition of an in-home respite care provider, such as Midnight Sun Home Care. Our trained caregivers partner with families to make certain seniors stay safe and healthy inside their homes – whether that involves just a couple hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care support for safe bathing and dressing, help with housework and meal preparation, or round-the-clock, live-in care.
We provide a complimentary in-home consultation to find out about your loved one and to suggest a strategy of care to handle all concerns. Providing the highest quality Anchorage respite care local families trust, call us at (907) 677-7890 to find out more.