There is no miracle solution to deal with the loss of autonomy of an elderly person. Many factors must be taken into account and weigh in the balance. How then to take care of a senior at home?
What should be taken into account when a senior needs daily help at home?
When someone you are caring for begins to decline and require more daily care, one option is to put in place the means to provide help at home so that they can stay at home.
Of course, this depends on the one hand on his state of health and on the other hand on the financial means available to pay for this assistance. The first step is to take stock of your abilities and analyze the consequences.
Is it appropriate and beneficial for the older person to stay at home?
When an elderly person needs daily assistance, start by working out the various options at home with their doctor.
Safety and accessibility at home
His house will have to be adapted to its condition and will undoubtedly require some modifications, such as grab bars in the bathtub, handrails on the stairs, more open spaces or limited access to floors. Will these changes be sufficient? If the person uses a walker, will accessibility and safety be appropriate? All these questions must be taken into account for his well-being and his safety.
Provide a room for the caregiver who takes care of the person night and day
A helper who takes care of a person 24 hours a day needs to be accommodated or to have a bed in decent conditions. Will there be enough space in the house to implement this solution?
Organize space for additional equipment or amenities
Will there be enough room to exchange his old bed for a medical bed, have a chest of drawers, an oxygen container or any other medical equipment necessary for his condition?
Because they are weak or prone to loss of balance, there comes a time when older people find it difficult to groom themselves. Some can only wash in a special bathtub or take a seated shower with handles and a suitable seat. Can these adaptations be taken into account?
Closeness to you
Does she live close enough to you that you can assist her without too much distance? If she lives far from where you live, will you be able to manage and afford the trips or will you be able to afford the help of an outside worker?
Caring for a senior at home: financial and human resources
Can you reduce your working hours to devote yourself to your parent?
In some cases, caring for someone in another home is only feasible if you, your spouse, or another caregiver can leave or reduce their working time. Can you afford it?
Paying outside helpers
Providing care to a loved one often requires the need to hire outside help, including nightly services. Evaluate your budget.
Works and fittings in the house
Consider the cost and investment involved in furnishing your elderly loved one’s home. Think about safety arrangements (ramps, handles, etc.), new equipment (specialized bath or shower, medical bed, oxygen container, etc.) as well as any other equipment that will facilitate accessibility in the house.
If your relative lives far away from you, you will need to factor in the cost of round trips and any long-distance communications costs.
Do you have enough support around you and emotional resistance to take charge of your next of kin?
Caring for a loved one can be a challenge or a personal satisfaction, but it can also be dramatically unsettling and upset the whole family.
Do you have the shoulders strong enough to embark on this delicate mission? Unfortunately there is no miracle recipe for caring for a loved one who is declining. Some people will cope with it very well while others will get lost in guilt, exhaustion or depression.
Other solutions can also be considered, such as placing your loved one in a nursing home and more suitable or, conversely, taking charge of them in your own home.
Charges and responsibilities to consider
The caregiver’s burden
Daily help represents many hours of work. Many people combine the support of family members and friends with paid outside helpers. Do you feel comfortable taking on the work involved in such a rhythm? Do you have friends or relatives who can relieve you and participate on an occasional and regular basis, knowing that you will not be able to pay them?
Does your elderly parent need 24 hour help? Do you feel comfortable managing this step, knowing that you will have to organize the schedule of care and that you may be living at a distance?
Every caregiver needs time off and replacement days are inevitable. Each schedule should plan for and include caregiver leave as well as your own. A rigorous organization of these vacation periods is therefore strongly recommended for the balance and well-being of both parties.
Emergencies or unexpected events
Obviously, an emergency is much more complicated to manage if you are at a distance. If a caregiver suddenly quits or the parent in charge has a medical emergency in the middle of the night, you need to be able to respond quickly and have a solution on hand. Setting up a medical emergency system can then be a good solution.
Your daily habits
Will you be able to adjust your schedule and manage your daily activities in addition to organizing and managing the care you will need to provide to your parent? Will you have sufficient time slots to take care of your parent’s care, and will you be able to reduce your work time or your activities?
Go out and take care of your parent
Will your loved one need to be driven everywhere, for example for personal or medical appointments? If public transport is not an option, will you have the time or the possibility to find someone to accompany you? Are there transport points for the elderly in your area?
The emotional charge
Being responsible for a frail elderly person can be very trying, especially if they develop advanced pathologies or attacks of dementia. Do you think you are up to the task emotionally and handle this delicate task? Are you surrounded enough to support this load?
The feelings of the helped parent
Most older people prefer to stay in their homes, or “grow old in place” as long as they can support themselves. This is beneficial for their development and their health. But others, on the other hand, have the feeling of being more serene when they are taken care of and relieved in daily activities, both in nursing homes and at home. Pay attention to take into account their wants and wishes and let them be in control as much as possible.
Spouses, children, or grandchildren can all be affected by home care, even if you provide it outside of your own home. What will change for your family? How will this affect your life as a couple?
Bring the family together regularly to take everyone’s opinion into account and ensure that each member expresses their fears, anger and whether or not they accept the situation.
The impact of intimate care
In the care of a third party, there can be moments of intimacy. Bathing, dressing, washing, or helping with nutrition are all things that can be psychologically trying for a caregiver. Some feel more comfortable with these gestures than others. Will you be able to manage this care if you cannot hire someone to do it?
Follow his instinct
Listen to your hunches and see if you feel able to take charge of your parent.Tags: what resources should a sernior have
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