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Caring for loved ones in their older years

Caring for an Elderly Parent in your Home

Are you considering taking care of your aging parents, relatives or friends at home? With Australia’s elderly population expected to more than double by 2057, more families than ever are considering home-based care.

Home-based elderly care may be a positive experience, as long as it is safe and beneficial for everyone involved.

To help you decide whether caring for an elderly family member at home is the right decision for you, here are some things to think about before you make such a big commitment.

 

Recognise How Much Assistance Your Family Member Requires

Make sure you estimate, as best as you can, just how much care and time your parent or family member requires now in order to avoid possible issues down the track. Making a list of all the things they need help with right now is a good place to start.

Start by creating a list of all the things you already do for them, and then ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Do they require assistance with everyday tasks?
  • Do they require continual monitoring?
  • Is it safe for them to them to use the kitchen and bathroom unassisted?
  • Is assistance needed during the day for activities such as showering and eating?

 

Be Realistic About How Much Support You Can Provide

It’s natural to want to care for a loved one as they grow older, and many people feel that caring for elderly parents at home is the best option. It’s important to be realistic about just how much assistance and care you can offer safely.

Can you invest the time needed with your work commitments, and family commitments?  If you’re caring for an elderly parent, would you be able to still meet you own family commitments and have a social life? What about your own fitness and health needs and constraints? Making a list can help you assess how much time  you can offer to provide care without becoming burnt out.

 

Determine Where You May Receive More Assistance

Getting some additional support may be the best approach to minimise carer burnout.  Think of alternative options such as employing home cleaning professionals or contact Meals on Wheels for meal deliveries.  Are there other family members able to help? Will your loved one require additional home-help services for tasks such as showering? Are there any respite programs available in your area?

If you were to investigate Nursing homes in Geelong, you may discover that there are other options available for your elderly loved one.

 

Shared Responsibilities for Caregiving

Sharing caregiving responsibilities is a beneficial solution for all, if you have siblings or other relatives able to assist. Some families have agreements in place with individual family members on exactly who is responsible for certain duties and tasks.

Family members may take it in turns visiting their elderly love one so each member has some rest time. Sharing responsibilities will likely reduce the feeling of ‘it’s my duty’.

 

Conclusion

Caring for your aging parents at home encourages independence, reduces loneliness, and creates a sense of family and familiarity. However, you must ensure they get the care they need and strike a balance between them living in their home and getting help.

Homestyle Aged Care offers quality aged care accommodation and services, including respite and dementia-specific care. Explore our residential aged care homes today, and contact us here or phone us on (03) 8799 2000 if you need more information.

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