It's hard to believe that 3 years ago, we were building the ramp for my mom's home so when she left the nursing home, she'd be able to get in and out of her home easier. Unfortunately, she never was able to enjoy the ramp.
Making small changes to the home was something my brother and I both struggled with coming to terms with, however, we did start to make them. In order to provide the care that my mother needed, we started moving some of her clothes, furniture, etc from her upstairs bedroom, into a spare room. Again, which she was never able to enjoy.
Our mother passed away in Hospice in November 2016. Before her lengthy stay in a nursing facility and hospice, my brother and I took turns helping her around the house. I came over and took her to appointments, cooked at times and helped with other things like cleaning and laundry. My brother and his wife did the same in the evenings. My brother would take care of the outside of the house while my sister in law would help my mom inside. My Uncle and his wife would help as well, his wife is a nurse so she helped my mom with a lot of her medical needs.
It was a combined effort on all parts and necessary.
My mother wasn't elderly, however providing care for her through her cancer treatments gave me insight on how I could become the best caregiver for an elderly parent in the future. My dad is still around and so are both of my in-laws. They are all healthy, active, and not even close to the elderly stage in their lives, so we have awhile.
None of us want to see our parents grow old and need assistance, but this is a natural part of life and at some stage we will be responsible for caring for our parents and making their lives easier. When it comes time, we want to make sure we select the best caregiver for elderly parents, that way things will be taken care of in a timely, healthy, & effective manner.
When you get to this stage in your life, it is important for you to think about the best way of balancing your other commitments with the commitment to your parents and it can be a huge challenge at times. Whether you are looking for assisted living, equipment for the home, or respite care for elderly relatives, we have some handy tips which should make life easier for you this year.
Become the Best Caregiver for Elderly Parents With a Plan
Make a Plan & Stick To It
The first thing you will need to do when preparing to look after your loved ones is to make a plan and assess their needs. Depending on the person, they might only need some general assistance with daily tasks, or perhaps instead they may need better care somewhere else. The first stage to caring for your relative is deciding whether or not you can care for them yourself. This will be the first stage in a long line of things to do, but once you have decided if you can care for them or not, it will make your life much easier.
Have a Care Plan In Place
A care plan is a document you will create along with your parent to make sure you know what to do in any situation and to also ensure that the care you provide for them is always enough. This document is an important one to create and it will help you and anyone else know what to do with your parent when they need some assistance. Make sure you outline things such as a budget and equipment when you make the plan and this will make your life much easier.
Combine Efforts With Others
It is unrealistic for you to put the responsibility of caring for an older relative solely in your hands. Care can be a complex thing depending on the circumstances and it might not be something you can easily provide for your parent alone. If you have siblings, you should consider dividing up the care between you, and if you don’t, you may need to ask for help from other family members or professionals.
Provide a Live-In Carekeeper
There are a lot of parents who will do anything they can to stay in their own home and not live in a care home. The main issue though with this, is that sometimes they will need more help than living at home can provide. This is where the idea of a live in carer can come into play, where a carer moves in with your parent to help them perform daily tasks and provide them with company. It is a healthy compromise and will allow your parent to stay living at home.
There are many ways you can prepare to care for your parent when they grow older and it is important that you talk things through together and decide on the best option for you.