If you are to the stage of life that your parents are aging and needing assistance with daily tasks, you may be researching live in caregivers for seniors. As our parents grow older or deal with medical conditions, they may require help with daily responsibilities. This may be things like preparing meals, running errands for groeries or medication, and even keeping up with appointments and healthcare.
The need for assistance might appear to be straightforward enough. Yet, this can be a difficult discussion with parents when they have been their own (or eachother's primary caregiver). It's important to approach caring for elderly parents in a supportive manner rather than an overbearing one.
It might be challenging to figure out how to aid aging parents and meet specific needs while making sure they feel as independent as possible. Elders are often hesitant to ask for or accept help. So, how can you help your aging parents without making your mom and dad feel like they have lost their autonomy? How can you get the task done without seeming condescending or making them angry? Here are some thoughts that hopefully will help. Keep in mind every situation is different, and the right choice for your loved ones may differ entirely from someone else you know. Now let's talk about how to approach live in caregivers for seniors and what you need to look for.
Offer To Buy Assistive Devices and Hire a Home Care Provider
Are you in the position to help financially? If so, you can offer to purchase assistive devices for them. Always ask them or consult with their health care services first, since these assistive devices may be covered by insurance. With these they may have a more few tools at their disposal to help them accomplish various tasks, such as a shower seat or a stairlift.
Other than that, you can search for live-in care near you. You also might want to check with a local home care agency to see if any of their certified caregivers offer in-home assistance for seniors. Your parents may feel more comfortable having a caregiver visit their home on a regular basis, rather than a family member checking in. Such care will let them maintain a certain level of independence while still providing them with the help they need to live comfortably. The goal is to have quality care and managing a good quality of life– while also attending to special needs like managing their medications, getting to appointments, and even small things like getting the grocery shopping done. Caregiver services are extremely versatile and you can likely find the best fit for your family with some research and lots of questions.
Be Tactful When Confronting Your Parents
Your parents might not accept the idea that they need help. As we are all aware, an elderly parent that has lived independently for some time may not appreciate others taking the “lead” and suggesting they can no longer do so.
If you happen to end up in such a situation, it is crucial to act tactfully. Be objective and ask them what their thoughts are. After all, they may have a care plan idea already. They may have preferences whether it be home care services or alternately, an assisted living facility.
First and foremost, avoid raising your voice, as it might end up negatively impacting your relationship with your parents. When you first bring up the topic, it is best to focus on their unique needs, the practical benefits of receiving assistance. Talk about their daily activities and get an idea of how they feel about assistance. If you are dealing with a chronic illness together, one way to bring up the conversation is asking about how they are feeling and if they feel like they need assistance with specific activities.
As you delve into the subject, recognize that an important reason for assistance is the risks of not taking action–whether it be missing medical appointments, dealing with a treatment for a chronic condition, or something as simple as not having energy for meal preparation and light housekeeping. These can all impact overall wellness over time.
Let Your Parents Take the Lead
Although you may want to aid your family members with various tasks or look into services that offer live into live in caregivers for seniors, it's crucial to let them take the lead. To begin with, you should set out to understand what kinds of assistance your parents actually require. Do not suggest a type of care based on what you think they might need. Do not assume their preference for managing care needs. There are many options for assistance available in the United States. A case manager or social worker who may be assigned to your parents may be a good place to start. They can help with identifying options for live in caregivers for seniors.
Depending on your location hese many include:
- Personal emergency response systems- these are usually worn around the neck or wrist and can alert first responders if there is a fall- these don't require any live in assitance, so it's great for a more independent person who wants peace of mind that they will be helped if they cannot get to the phone to call for help.
- Home Health Aides- a “sitter” service that offers a CNA to stay part of the day or night with your loved one, in the comfort of their own homes
- Home Health Care- a home health nurse will make visits to their residence. This is often utlized to avoid travel to doctor's appointments, and to have a nurse administer ongoing medications.
- Retirement homes- these are typically offered to those that may not be able to make meals, and need minor assitance with mobility. For the most part, they will have their own room and private space.
- Long-term care services- some hospitals do have rehab and long-term care options if your family member is currently in the hospital. These are often located in larger hospital systems. You would check with the hospital staff or your parent's health care provider to ask about this option.
- Respite Care- some residential care facilities offer a short stay option if your loved one usually has family caregivers but the caregiver is not able to assist them for a certain period of time (it might be the caregiver is having surgery, or going out of town, etc).
- Residential care facilities- these are often termed “nursing home” and provide elderly care for those who need nursing, medical services, and other healthcare professionals' services. This would be around the clock care.
- 24-hour care at home, and hospice care- these are offered for individuals for end of life and aren't applicable to all who need live in caregivers for seniors.
Of course, there are situations where loved ones cannot take the lead. When a loved one is experiencing cognitive decline, be aware that there is speficic documents that allow family members to be the designated support people –who can also help make decisions for medical needs. There are also important privacy laws that may or may not allow you as a family member to be aware of health conditions, health insurance and other information. It's important to be aware of these state and federal laws in the United States.
As you gain more insight into their daily routine, you'll be able to gather additional ways in which you can assist them. For instance, if your mom has trouble walking around, she might benefit from having a railing installed by the staircase. There are also assistance options you can look into, such as financial assistance and non-medical support groups that can be of help.
Encourage Social and Physical Activity
If your parents decide not to accept help, encourage them to engage in social activities and exercise regularly. Older adults who are socially active tend to be happier, more satisfied with their lives, and healthier than those who isolate themselves. Physical fitness –at their ability, and with the OK of their healthcare provider–can also help your parents increase their mobility and, thereby, lessen their need for assistance.
By getting your parents involved in social events and exercise, you will help them stay happy and maintain a certain level of independence for years to come.
Prioritize Your Parents' Well-Being
There may be an occasion you would need to seek advice from a mental health professional. It's also necessary to report any immediate danger, and from there, professional caregivers can ensure your parent is safe.
Becoming a caregiver for aging parents can be a challenging task. Nonetheless, it does not have to be an overwhelming one. By approaching the situation in a positive manner and remaining respectful, you can aim to offer your parents the care they need without taking away their independence.
If you are concerned about helping your aging parents, you should start taking action as soon as possible. Remember that the sooner you give your parents some assistance, the easier it will be for them to adapt to their new situation. You do not want to wait until it becomes too late for you to take action, so start looking for a way to help your parents today!
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