If you’ve noticed that your elderly parents or loved ones are starting to struggle with their normal routines - from small things like struggling to lift heavy pots to more concerning things like regularly forgetting appointments, or just needing a helping hand to wash and clean - it might be time to consider getting them some help.
Needing a little help doesn’t make you helpless and your parents might not be ready to move into an old-age home – or they simply might not want to. They might still be able to get on ok for now but leaving it too late to get help can have serious consequences.
If you only start to think about care after a crisis stops them being able to look after themselves – like a bad fall or a stroke – your options might be limited and a move to a care home feels inevitable. Being boxed into a corner like this could mean upending your parents’ lives, and often yours too, by forcing you to make choices on their behalf that can cause a lot of unhappiness.
We all only want the best for our parents, and you may be wondering how to go about getting help that gives you peace of mind without taking away your parents independence or compromising on the assistance they need.
So how will you know when it is time to go from considering care to making a decision?
The best way to start unpacking the topic and getting answers to the questions and complexities that come with this new next stage of life is to include them from the start. Often, adult children will forge ahead, albeit well intentioned, in making key decisions for their parents.
Should we sell our parents house and move them closer or downsize their home? Should they live with us and how will that change everybody’s routines?
Do we need full-time or only part-time care? How will that change over time as needs sometimes go down again after getting help?
Should they move to a residential facility? Can we afford the full cost of this now?
How do we know that a particular care agency is right for us? Can they be relied on and trusted?
These are all questions that are much more difficult to answer without asking your parents what they want. Sure, there may be differences in opinion, resistance to change and compromise required from everyone – but it’s important to include your parents in the conversation, the planning and, as far as possible, the decision making.
Peace of mind is key for everyone too. You want to know that your parents are safe, supported and able to maintain a good quality of life. They want to know they still have value and are not just a burden to others. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to care but we believe that most of us, including our parents, would prefer to live in a home of their own for as long as possible.
Too much care can make strong people feel molly-coddled and wrapped in cotton-wool. And particularly at the early stages, a little bit of help can go a long way in keeping your parents happy, healthy and at peace in their own home.
Contact us about getting a personalised care plan for your loved one.
We don’t just care for you, we care about you and we’re here to help!