In the past, the elderly were cared for by their children at home, the original elderly home care. There simply was no alternative. Then along came nursing homes, retirement homes, whatever you want to call them, and suddenly all the aging parents were shipped off as soon as they showed signs of senility.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards keeping the aging at home again. Elderly home care is once again becoming the norm. Sometimes, this means that adult children look after their parents in their home, but in many cases, it means bringing in a trained caregiver or two who will stay around the clock with the parent.
Signs that an older person needs home care
It can be difficult to know exactly when elderly home care is required. Here are a few signs that you should watch out for:
– The person has difficulty dressing or with simple grooming chores like brushing teeth, showering, etc.
– The person needs help with housework and yard work.
– The person cannot properly manage his or her finances.
– The person has difficulty with hearing, seeing or memory.
– The person is unable to drive or take the bus alone.
If you see or hear of any sort of potentially dangerous behaviour, it is most likely time to consider elderly home care. In many cases, the fact that an older person is no longer safe on their own goes unnoticed until an accident occurs and home care becomes vital.
Many children feel bad for not looking after their parents themselves, but sometimes, due to work, study or other family obligations, in-family care is simply not possible. Trained elderly home care workers are wonderful at what they do and there is no need to feel bad about making a decision to keep the aging safe.
How to give elderly home care
Caring for the elderly whether in your own home or theirs can be a challenge. It is difficult to see the parent who once cared for you suddenly in the position of being cared for. The constant attention needed can be wearing and it is important to consider your own needs as well as those of the parent.
This may mean, if you don’t currently have an outside caregiver, hiring a respite care worker to give you and your family a break at times.
The important thing is to allow the aging parent as much dignity as possible. Whatever he or she is still capable of doing, let them do it. Give them chores to keep them occupied, whether it’s looking after grandchildren (older ones as small children could be too difficult to watch) or dusting.
Don’t push your parents into elderly home care, without consulting them. This is a big decision that they should be a part of. Explain your reasoning if they are stubborn about staying on their own and in the worst case scenario, appeal to their parental side by asking for help in your own home.