When Is the Right Time to Hire Home Care for Your Elderly Parent?
When Is the Right Time to Hire
Home Care for Your Elderly Parent?
The word “parent’ evokes different emotions in different individuals. For some people, parents are invaluable guardians that groomed them into responsible and independent adults. For others, parents are role models that inspired them to be amazing human beings and real-life heroes. Then again, there are people whose relationships with their parents are purely based on blood and have little to no element of emotional attachment. Regardless of what kind of a person you may be, it is never easy to see your father or mother slip into the difficult life of a struggling senior citizen.
A lot of people find it extremely difficult to accept the fact that their parents’ lives are crumbling under the weight of old age and senility. This compels a lot of children to avoid meeting their parents. It is not a pleasant sight to see your mother turn into a messy, undisciplined, and careless individual after spending an entire lifetime being meticulous about cleanliness and hygiene. Just imagine how painful it must be for a child who lives away from their parents to enter their parents’ house and discover dirty dishes stacked high on the sink, worn out carpets that exude an overwhelming stench, and broken pieces of equipment and electronic appliances lying all around the house. It can be heartbreaking to come to terms with the fact that your parents are no longer as independent as they once were, and that it is time for you to make a serious intervention for the betterment of their life and health.
There comes a time when you simply have to stop making excuses for their hardships and sincerely concentrate on seeking help. The real challenge here is to identify the ideal time for providing your parents with some sort of home care that they can hugely benefit from. Your loved one can call any place in the world home. The house that they have been living in for the last 40 years could be their precious home. The seniors-only apartment building that they moved into a few months ago is their new home. Even a single room in your house where your elderly loved one resides could be described as a home for the old. The basic concept of providing home care is to figure out ways in which the beloved senior citizens in your family can stay at home and enjoy peace of mind.
It is impossible for you to figure out the right time for hiring a home care service unless you are acquainted with the fundamentals of in-home care for senior citizens. According to some health experts who specialize in geriatric care, in-home care for senior citizens can be basically categorized into two main groups. The first type of senior care is referred to as personal care, while the second one is medical care. One should not be mistaken for the other. The two types of care address two completely different categories of senior citizen needs. If you mix up the two or if you fail to differentiate between these two types of care, you are going to have a serious problem understanding the difficulties faced by the elderly loved ones in your life.
Remember, at the end of the day, their needs come first. What they need and when they need it should not necessarily be based on your interpretation of their state of mental and physical health. Sometimes you need to take a step back and allow the experts and your parents to work together and decide the kind of home care that should be implemented. Instead of being a dictator from the outside, try to be a supportive child who is there to back up your parents when they need it the most.
A lot of the seniors in our society are not really in need of medical care. Home care is not just about hiring a nurse to look after your elderly parents’ medications and track the biological changes in their bodies. Sometimes home care from experienced caregivers could be in the form of providing assistance with bathing, grooming, laundry, cleaning, shopping, and even cooking. In fact, the presence of a personal caregiver can go a long way toward pulling your loved one out of the confines of isolation, monotony, and loneliness. Having someone to help you all the time can give new meaning to your parents’ life. They no longer have to be disgruntled and unhappy about losing their sense of independence. In the hands of expert caregivers, your parents will receive the kind of personal care that will make them firmly believe that there is a lot left for them to live for, and that their lives have not become frozen in permanent stagnancy.
Ask anybody who has had a positive experience with a senior caregiver, and you will realize that the companionship of these professionals can make a huge difference in the life of your lonely and exhausted parents. This should not be perceived as a life of dependence, old age, and senility. In fact, having an extra pair of hands to count on at all times is exactly how someone’s retirement life should look like. You cannot possibly expect your parents to keep doing everything on their own forever and forever. There comes a time when they need to stop, and, when they do, make sure that they don’t hit the brakes too hard. It is all about aiding them into going through a steady, gradual, and effortless transition in their lives.
A lot of people make the assumption that a caregiver in charge of providing personal care is not equipped with the skills to handle the major or minor medical complications that your parents could potentially undergo. This is a faulty assumption to say the least. First and foremost, it is very important to clarify that medical care and personal care are not interchangeable services. Both can exist at the same time, and both can be administered by the same individual. The person who helps fold the clothes after your mom is done with her laundry could be the same person who helps your diabetic mother to check on her blood sugar level. Checking the sugar level or blood pressure may seem like minor tasks to you, but there is a lot more that a professionally trained caregiver can offer. Some of them are trained to speed up the healing of a critical illness following hospitalization or rehabilitation.
As a matter of fact, you would be pleasantly surprised to know that many caregivers take pride in being licensed, registered, and certified. When it comes to medical in-home care for senior citizens, the duration of time for which the caregiver stays with the elderly loved can be cut short. They are supposed to leave the house once your parents have had their physical health taken care of. However, if they specialize in personal care, they are likely to stay much longer so that your parents can enjoy their retirement days comfortably.
Now that you have a better understanding of what senior home care is all about, you should be in a position to make a judgment on whether it is necessary for your parents to be provided with regular home care or not. There are two indicators that you need to watch out for. These indicators are a clear signal that your parents could greatly and immediately benefit from personal or medical home care. Take note of these signals before the train runs away.
As previously implied, maintaining a high quality of life becomes more challenging with age. It is not easy for elderly people to live up to their standards of hygiene, cleanliness, productivity, and social activity when they are constantly facing one difficulty after the other.
The quality of your loved one’s life goes down when their mental, emotional, and/or physical health becomes impaired. If there is a nagging ailment or a lingering mental trauma that’s bothering them, they will find it extremely hard to keep their life together and enjoy living indoors. Elderly people are not very open to the idea of conceding defeat and admitting the fact that they are at a serious disadvantage in the battle against aging. Hence, they will hardly ever let you know that they are in need of some sort of home care.
The onus is on you to get them to open up and express their concerns. If they make even the most mild or subtle of complaints about their life not being as comfortable or enjoyable as it once was, make use of that opportunity to get them into a conversation about how the presence of a caregiver can give them back the joy of living a comfortable life.
These complaints serve as a clear indicator of the fact that the arrival of a professional caregiver is absolutely necessary in your parent’s home.
If you are someone who lives with your elderly parents, or near them, you would feel obliged to look after them 24/7. However, that is not much of a possibility given the amount of stress that you already have to handle on a daily basis.
Modern urban human beings are left with minimal time for leisure and social life after a long and hard day at the office. You may feel slightly reluctant to look after your parents after you return home exhausted from work. If you have experienced such feelings before, you are not to blame. It is not possible for someone to perfectly juggle work, life, and family all the time. If you are in a position where you are finding it difficult to communicate with your elderly loved ones and are struggling to take responsibility for their needs, you need to seriously consider hiring a home care service.
A lot of people make the mistake of repeatedly asking family members or neighbors to help them out in caring for their loved ones. This is at best a temporary solution, but is definitely not something that you can or should rely on. The home care is not just intended to benefit your parents. It is also supposed to make your life a little easier and give you more time to really address the needs of your elderly loved ones.
Also, you should not feel guilty about hiring a home care service. You are not passing on your filial obligations to an outsider or a stranger. You are simply taking a smarter approach to providing your parents with the best care that you can afford, both financially and physically.
Rushing is the cardinal sin of hiring a home care service for your elderly parents. You cannot make your parents feel burdened or overwhelmed by the change. You cannot allow your parents to think that their life is going to change once and for all. You cannot cause discomfort to your parents when advocating the changes associated with hiring a professional caregiver.
The idea is to slowly introduce the caregiver into the life of your loved one. Give your loved one a real opportunity to get acquainted with the concept of in-home care. Give them ample amount of time to develop a strong bond with the caregiver and to nurture a healthy sense of dependence.
Your loved one has gone through numerous years of trials and tribulations to get to this point in their life, and they did that all on their own. You cannot possibly expect your them to acknowledge the idea of being a dependent all of a sudden. The caregiver should be introduced as a source of assistance, and not one of dependence.
Remember, the change is not going to take place overnight. It may take a couple of weeks, a few weeks, or even a few months to get your loved one used to their new way of life. Your primary aim is to remain steadfast and committed. Talk with the care manager of the home care agency, and work out realistic solutions to daily problems faced by the senior citizen at your home.
Also, be careful about not growing complacent. Just because your elderly loved one has accepted the change and is bonding well with the caregiver does not mean that your responsibilities toward your parent have come to an end. There is still a lot more for you to do. Always look out for opportunities to spend valuable time with your loved ones, especially when they are going through tough times in life.
Do not let them think for a second that you have abandoned them and left them in the care of a complete stranger.