With the cycle of life, first our parents take care of us as babies and much later in life, sometimes they need taking care of. While a nursing home is an option for some adult children, many prefer their parents to come to live with them and provide home care instead.
Here are some tips on how to care for your elderly parents at home.
Expect a Life Adjustment
When you already have a family of your own with a partner and children, adding a parent into the family home is a major life change. There will be a need to have someone in the home most of the time. At the very least, maybe one of you will want to be at home more frequently and perhaps switch to part-time work to facilitate that.
Making a switch to part-time work could lead to a loss of income, while there will inevitably be some additional expenses before and after they’ve moved in. The household will possibly see a dip in income and a corresponding rise in expenses. This means reduced slack in the budget, saving less for retirement, or having to make cutbacks.
Where Will Their Bedroom Be?
With parents who are finding it difficult to get around, you have a couple of options.
The first option is to convert one of the downstairs rooms into a bedroom. Switch a spare bedroom upstairs to create a new living space. They will need privacy too, so is there a way to access the kitchen and other areas downstairs without walking through their new bedroom?
The second option is to have a stairlift installed which they sit in and strap into. They are then raised (or lowered) up or down the stairs. This is a popular option because it removes the need to convert a downstairs room.
Also, think about flooring and rugs. Is there something that they will find slippery under foot? If they’re unsteady on their feet, then consider storing the rugs.
You can also make the bathroom safer with a bath mat which creates a non-slip surface to step onto before climbing out of the bath.
If they have incontinence issues from time to time, then they are also going to need either adult wipes or disposable washcloths. These make light work of cleaning any mess created if they have a bowel release. The use of dry wipes is another way to go if their skin is easily irritated from wipes that have aloe, chamomile, or other additional ingredients.
It is important to note that they may be embarrassed if they have incontinence issues. So, the best thing is to show sympathy and make no fuss. Also, if the kids are old enough, explain to them what could happen and why. This way, they will be a little understanding and not be a further source of embarrassment to their granddad or grandma.
Having one of your parents move into your home is a big step. Plan well and discuss the important points to avoid any major sticking points.