It can be extremely rewarding to care for elderly parents yourself, but if you begin to struggle with the responsibility, it is important to know that there is plenty of help available too.
Ageing is an inevitable part of life, and even the fittest and healthiest individual may need some help with day-to-day tasks as they get older.
Seeing an elderly parent lose their independence can be hard, and finding the time to provide them with all the care they require later in life can sometimes be difficult.
As much as you may want to be there for them when they need you, sometimes your existing commitments make it challenging to do so.
Luckily, there are plenty of services available to help ensure that your elderly parents always have the help and support they require during the times that you cannot physically be there yourself.
This article will explore a few things to consider when deciding how to best care for elderly parents while ensuring their ongoing dignity, and physical and mental wellbeing, in their later life.
Are you responsible for caring for your elderly parents?
Whether you choose to care for you elderly family member yourself, or employ some help in doing so, it is a decision that is personal to you and your parents’ unique circumstances and preferences.
If you have siblings, or any other family members that are close with your parents, then you may be able to share the responsibility of caring for your parents, depending on whether they live close by.
The level of care you can provide for an elderly parent will depend on many different factors including:
- Their wishes
First and foremost, always have a conversation with your parent to sensitively discuss the options available for their care and what their preferences are.
- Family commitments
Juggling your existing family commitments with caring for an elderly parent can be difficult and may leave you feeling strained and stressed. This can be particularly true if you have young children.
- Work commitments
Fitting caring for elderly parents around work responsibilities can be tricky, particularly if they require help with everyday tasks.
If you suffer from any of your own physical or mental health problems, this may make it more difficult for you to care for your parents.
Your budget may restrict how much professional care you can get for your parents. Be aware that you may be entitled to financial support or free care services for your parents. Request a financial assessment to find out what you’re eligible to.
Distance can make it difficult to personally provide care for an elderly parent. If you live far away, unless either of you are willing to relocate, it is likely that you will need to find a professional care service to help.
When figuring out the best way to care for your parents in their old age, it’s important to consider your own wellbeing and happiness as well as theirs.
Caring for an ageing parent shouldn’t feel like a burden or a strain, and if it does you may be taking on too much of their care by yourself. Sharing the responsibility out between any siblings, other close relatives, or care professionals can help you to enjoy the time you spend caring for them more.
How to care for your elderly parents at home
The level of care a person requires usually depends on their age and their health.
They could require as little as a few hours of companionship each week, and help with their shopping and errands. On the other hand, if they have serious health conditions, a physical disability, or suffer from dementia, they may require intensive 24-hour care.
Some of the care they may require on a daily or weekly basis includes:
- Shopping and errands
- Food preparation
- Personal hygiene
- Help with medication
If your parent requires help with basic tasks like food preparation and personal hygiene, then they are likely to need 24-hour care. If you’re in a position whereby they can move in with you, then you may be able to care for them at home yourself. Otherwise, you are likely to require help from a professional care service.
Different types of care services are available, including:
- Assisted living communities
These communities allow individuals to retain a good deal of independence, but there is the option of help with daily activities if they require, including cooking and cleaning.
- Nursing homes
Nursing homes may be a suitable option for those that need more intensive 24-hour care and medical help and assistance.
- Home care services
Home care services allow individuals to stay in the comfort of their own home and professionals will either provide live-in care or visit regularly to provide the care they require.
Benefits of caring for elderly parents at home
The main benefit of caring for your parents in their own home is their comfort and happiness.
Most elderly people say that they would prefer to be cared for in their own home because it means less upheaval, change, and stress.
Remaining at home can also help them to feel more relaxed, comfortable, and independent.
Moving to a new address, or to a care home, is a lot of upheaval and may be a strain both mentally and physically. It can also be saddening to leave a home that has a lot of memories attached to it.
Being cared for at home may allow your parent to feel like they have more control over their day-to-day life and surroundings and help to retain a sense of normality.
It also makes it easier for them to stay in contact with friends and neighbours.
Often, having a parent cared for at home, rather than paying for them to live in an assisted living community or nursing home, can also be a more cost-effective solution.
Caring for elderly parents with home care from Abafields
Here are just some of the reasons so many people trust our friendly team here at Abafields Home Care to care for their elderly parents at home:
- Bespoke in-home elderly care services tailored to you and your parent’s requirements.
- Highly qualified and experienced care specialists.
- Registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
- Friendly, sensitive, and respectful carers.
- Wide range of care services available. We can provide anything from companionship to live-in high dependency care.
- Permanent care staff, not agency workers.