Making the choice to care for the senior in one’s life is one of the biggest acts of love that someone can do. This is a major choice for everyone and should be made with both parties in mind. There will be changes for the person hosting the senior in one’s home, but also for the senior entering care. It seems straight forward to treat them as a guest. For the first time, they may need to receive personal care from someone other than themselves. This can be an uncomfortable thing. There may be some issues to consider beyond the current circumstance.
The Care of the Senior Loved One
The focus on the care of the senior loved one is the main priority. The details of that care may not be as obvious. There is a reason that the senior loved one is no longer able to live independently. Whatever the reason this can be accommodated based on a physician’s recommendation. Consider these daily living activities that will need to be assessed and planned, in addition to medication schedules and appointments.
- Is the senior ambulatory and able to use the stairs?
• Is the senior able to bathe themself?
• Is the senior independently continent or do they need assistance?
• What is their current mental state? Do they show signs of depression?
• What activities do they enjoy doing?
The Safety of the Senior Loved One
It may not be necessary to be concerned with certain characteristics of the home at present. It is important to be cognizant of changes that may occur in the future. Sometimes it is better to make the changes ahead of time than to wait until a major shift to scramble to make the alterations. Take some time to think about the possibilities and ask questions of those around you who may have some tips to prevent an accident.
- Make sure all hallways, stairways, and garages are free of clutter.
• Put slip-resistant backing on any mats and throw rugs or remove them.
• Does the shower have a high lip?
• Is the telephone easily accessible from their bed?
• Are emergency numbers located clearly near the phone?
• Are electrical cords neatly tucked away?
• Are fire and CO detectors in working order?
Care for the Caregiver
While it is wonderful to open a home to a senior who needs care, it is of equal importance to care for the caregiver. The focus is usually on the senior, as it should be, but there is a person in this equation who will have needs too. Make sure that there is respite in place for some time off. Caring for seniors is a daily pursuit. There is no downtime in many cases. Even if the senior loved one is independent there is still a level of concern and mental stress attached to their care.
Every state has certified home care agencies. They have gone through background checks and a certification process to properly care for seniors. Schedule some downtime, even if it is in-house. Having respite does not always mean going out into the community. Sometimes it is just to enjoy a long bubble bath or a good book while still being close by.
Make the decision that is right for both parties involved. If this is something that can be sufficiently done, then that is great. It is also fine to admit when it cannot be done. If hiring help is necessary, then choose the better option. There may be some guilt about passing on the challenge to professionals. Rest assured that it is better for the senior loved one to receive the best care. For more information, seek out opportunities to learn, such as these aged care courses in Sydney.