As parents get older, there comes a time when tough decisions need to be made. Caring for an elderly parent can take up a lot of time and it may not be appropriate for them to live by themselves for much longer. Below, we take a look at choosing the right care for an elderly parent and the key factors to consider.
Making Their Home Safe
If you want your elderly parent to stay at home for as long as possible, you must make sure that their home is safe and accessible. This means installing rails, reducing the amount of furniture, and perhaps moving their bedroom downstairs. The most important rooms to consider are the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
If your parent is struggling with mobility, they will be spending a lot of time in their bed, so a comfortable and accessible bed is essential. Choosing the right adjustable care home beds is a must, as these innovative products are height adjustable, come with rails installed to prevent falls, and can be adjusted into a seated position for the daytime.
Consider the Future
Whilst you want your parent to stay at home for as long as possible, there may come a time when you need to consider alternatives (see below for more on this). What happens in the future will be dependent on money, your time, and their condition and wishes. This is something that you should discuss early on, especially if they have a condition like dementia, which will affect their decision-making as they age.
Advance care planning ensures your parents’ wishes are outlined in writing, which can make it easier down the line. This should be discussed with their GP and any other professionals involved in their care. An advanced care plan can cover everything from where they want to live if home is no longer an option to what treatment they want if they go to the hospital.
When choosing the right care for your parent, money must be a topic of conversation. Knowing how much they have to put towards their care and how much you can spare will help with planning for the future.
Your parent may be eligible for financial help from their local council or the government, but this is something that takes time to apply for, so should be looked at sooner rather than later. If you want to care for your elderly parent and leave your job, you should check your eligibility for carers allowance, as this will ensure you still have money to look after your family whilst caring for your parent.
Explore the Alternatives
There are plenty of options available for elderly care and sometimes a care home is the safest place for your parent, especially if you have a job and other commitments which means you cannot care for them 24 hours a day. There are many benefits to a care home, including help with medications, being able to talk to other people their age, and safety.
If they are still able to care for themselves but need someone around, residential care is another option. This way, they have their own space to live, whilst having carers available for days they struggle with daily activities and need an extra hand. This promotes independence for as long as possible and is a good option if you simply cannot afford to take the time off work to be there day and night.
A further option to consider is home care, where carers come into your parents’ home and look after them. If they want to stay at home for as long as possible, this may be the best option. This allows you to still go out and work, or look after your children, whilst knowing your parent is getting the care that they need from professionals. If you do not know how to care for an elderly parent, the task can seem like a lot on your own.
Getting Advice and Support
Making the right decisions for your elderly parent is a lot of work and the process can be emotionally draining. No decision should be taken lightly but you need to make sure that you are considering everyone’s wishes, including your own. If you need advice or support, there are plenty of online forums for caring for elderly parents with dementia, safety proofing the home, and much more.
You can also access advice and support from their GP, or a care organisation. Make sure to look after yourself and ask other family and friends for support if you are struggling.
When choosing the right care for an elderly parent, the key factors to consider include making their home safe, care planning for the future, looking at finances, and exploring the alternatives to home care. If you are struggling with caring for your elderly parent, be sure to reach out and speak to someone who can help.