If you’re considering moving elderly parents into your home, assuredly you’ll have many questions. Oftentimes caring for just ourselves can feel like a lot. Adding the care of your parents on top of all of your other responsibilities? Is it something you’ll be able to manage?
At Grace Pointe, our main concern is the well-being of your aging parents. We want to be sure you have the information necessary to make the best call. Let’s have a look at some considerations that will need to be made before moving elderly parents into your home, followed by a couple of quality options for alternative forms of care.
Considering Care for Your Parents?
It can be shocking to find yourself as the grown child of parents who now need to be cared for. Even more, their need for care is sure to increase with time. Providing the care your parents require on your own is one option, and many grown children choose this route. There are other options like assisted and independent living that you can consider as well. With all the options, first things first, understand what your parents would prefer.
Understanding Your Parent’s Desires
For many aging adults, growing old in their own homes is the most preferred option. If and when it becomes clear that they are no longer able to safely live on their own, you’ll most likely need to have a conversation about what aging safely can look like.
The goal of this conversation should be to prepare your parents for change. Ask them about their expectations regarding growing old. Find out what sorts of activities they feel they are beginning to need help accomplishing. This is also a good time to discuss your concerns and paint them a picture of your hope for their care. Here are some helpful tips to remember when preparing for this conversation.
Be gentle. You’re suggesting some big changes that may be hard to receive. Deliver them gently.
Be patient. Your parents may not receive these changes well. Be patient and willing to help them work through it.
Be humble. Your parents are your parents, and they’ve lived a lot of life. Be humble and acknowledge your parents’ input.
Be informed. Your greatest tool for this conversation is information. Do your research on what these changes will entail.
Considering Providing Care for Your Parents Yourself?
Perhaps you’re contemplating taking on that burden of care yourself. It’s not unheard of. If you do decide to go forward with moving elderly parents into your home, you’ll need to understand the scope of care they will need. Planning for your parent’s safety, their quality of life, and your self-care is a good place to start.
Planning for Your Parents’ Safety
Depending on the level of care your parents require, there will be preparations you’ll need to make before they come to live in your home. Many of these preparations can be accomplished on your own, others may require some assistance. Take a look at this helpful article for a fuller understanding of these preparations, but here are a few you can start with.
Are there concerns about falling? Remove tripping hazards like loose rugs and free areas of any extra clutter.
Will they need help standing up? Grab bars in the bathroom may be a wise addition to your home.
Do you live in a multi-story home? Make living arrangements where your parents can live independently on one level.
Planning to Maintain Your Parent’s Quality of Life
Having to make peace with fleeting independence is a tall order. While you’re providing care for your parents, “taking an honest look at where they need support is the first step, followed by an assessment of all the possible solutions available to provide them the help they need.” (AgingInPlace)
The aim is to provide an environment for your parents that allows them as much independence as they’re capable of. That independence is accomplished via an assortment of daily activities.
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are the essential activities that must be maintained to allow your parents to continue the independent life they’re accustomed to. An inability to maintain these activities on their own will inform the level of care they may require. Some basic ADLs include personal hygiene, self-feeding, bathing, and mobility
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are non-essential activities that play a role in independent living. Some basic IADLs include cooking and cleaning, running errands, managing finances, and taking necessary medications.
Planning for Self-Care
Providing care for an elderly parent can be difficult. With all of your focus on them, you may experience a decline in energy and enthusiasm, notice a neglect for and withdrawal from normal patterns of life, and even grow in feelings of hopelessness.
It’s important to be realistic about how much care you’re able to provide on your own without sacrificing your self-care, your relationships, and other responsibilities like work and family. (CommonWiseCare) If the level of care your parents require is outside of your capacity to provide, it may be time to consider alternative forms of care.
Considering Alternative Forms of Care for Your Parents?
There are many alternative options available for providing care for your aging parents. Depending on your parents’ care needs, assisted and independent living may be great options to consider. Both will allow them space to maintain a safe level of independence while providing them the care they require.
Understanding Assisted Living
Assisted living is designed to provide as much autonomy as your parents are capable of, ranging from the highest level of care to only needing assistance with activities such as walking to meals. This alternative form of care is a good fit for aging parents who require higher levels of assistance and promotes a balanced lifestyle as well as social interaction.
Understanding Independent Living
Independent Living is the perfect alternative for aging parents who wish to enjoy an active, fulfilling life without the worries of household maintenance. With independent living your parents can age in place, leaving you assured they will receive the care they need when they need it.
At Grace Pointe, Your Parents Can Age In Place
As your parents age, their needs will change. It’s important to provide them with an environment where they can safely and comfortably age in place. At Grace Pointe, we can provide that environment, and with our customized approach to care, you can be sure your parents’ specific needs are our priority. Explore which level of care your parents need, and let Grace Pointe be the support your parents need.