One of the most honorable decisions adult children can make is to open up their home to an elderly parent. Our parents took care of us when we were younger, so it seems natural to reciprocate when it becomes unsafe for Mom or Dad to live independently. But there are a number of considerations to think through with your siblings before taking this step. Partners in Senior Care, the top providers of the elder care Lake Forest, IL seniors need, outlines the key questions to consider to ensure the best care solution for your loved one:
Do you or one of your siblings have sufficient space? If designating a room for Mom will cause rearranging of the kids’ accommodations, such as doubling up sisters to share a room or requiring someone to sleep on the sofa, it’s important to weigh this disruption against the benefits to the senior.
Will home modifications be needed? Take a walk through each person’s home who may be considering moving Mom in, and try to view it from the perspective of an older adult. Are pathways clear between the older person’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any tripping risks, such as throw rugs? Will additional safety items need to be installed, such as grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home medical equipment? Are there stairs to deal with? Is the home wheelchair-accessible?
Will someone be available at home throughout the day? Isolation and the risks inherent with an older person being alone will still be an issue if the other adults in the residence are working outside of the home.
Is everyone completely on board with the decision? While you may be fully committed to your aging parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of reluctance or resentment on the part of your spouse can result in tension and relationship difficulties. Make sure each of the siblings considering providing care discusses the situation fully and openly with the other adults in the home before taking this step.
Are you equipped to manage increasing care needs? While Mom may require just a little extra assistance now, disease progression and the typical frailties connected with aging will change the level of care needed in time. Think through with your siblings such potential complications as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Another important point to consider is the impact that giving up status as “head of the household” can cause, as it is tremendously difficult for some seniors. It will take some advance thoughtful planning to figure out how to best help the senior maintain dignity, independence and a sense of control.
If you and your siblings are unsure about your ability to provide the best care for your elderly loved one, another alternative that may be better for both the senior and your family is the addition of an in-home care provider, such as Partners in Senior Care. Our skilled caregivers partner with families to ensure seniors remain safe and thriving in their homes – whether that involves just a few hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with housework and meal preparation, or full-time, live-in care. We provide a free in-home consultation to learn more about the senior and to recommend a plan of care to address all concerns. Call on Partners in Senior Care, top providers of the elder care Lake Forest IL seniors need, at 847-548-1330 to learn more.