Home health care is an increasingly popular option for seniors who can no longer manage all aspects of their personal care. For some families the best and most affordable option is to have an aging parent or grandparent move in with their children or grandchildren. In this situation, a relative is most often responsible for the daily personal care of the elderly adult.
Making the move can be a big transition for both parties as families are forced to make space for the new family member and seniors are forced to deal with losing some of their independence. Before your family decides to make this move, there are things you should consider first.
If you and your loved one have past difference that could make the transition difficult, they should not be ignored. Ask yourself whether or not the relationship you have is open and honest. If there are unresolved issues, they need to be brought into the open and settled. Otherwise, you may find that living together is nearly impossible.
If everyone is emotionally prepared for the adjustment, the next step is to determine what the guidelines will be for the new living arrangements. Seniors may not be able to access all rooms of the house due to physical limitations? Will this create tension or hard feelings? What if your loved one is unable to join you for meals or prepare her food in the kitchen? Some home modifications may be necessary to make sure everyone feels that their privacy is being respected and that no one is purposely being excluded from family activities.
Tips for Managing the Transition to In-Home Care:
- Be honest with yourself about the changes. Do you have enough room for everyone to live together and still maintain needed privacy and personal space?
- Prepare in advance for home modifications or repairs that will be needed to accommodate your loved one.
- Consider have a professional evaluate your home for risks and safety hazards that could be harmful for seniors.
- What furniture will your loved one be able to keep? Are there special items that your senior will have to part with? Talk these things through before move-in day.
- Is wandering a concern for your elderly loved one? It may be necessary to secure doors and windows to keep your loved one safe, particularly when the rest of the family is asleep.
Home caregiving is a wonderful opportunity allowing families to stay together as long as possible while helping seniors get quality care. However, it is important not to gloss over the potential problems. Each should be dealt with effectively in order for the transition to go smoothly.