It can be hard knowing what to do when an older parent or other family member begins to become less mobile and needs care regularly. You love your relative, and so you want to ensure that they are happy and that you are doing what’s best for them, but at the same time not many people can afford to abandon their jobs and family to be a full-time care giver.
Approaching the issue, analytically can help you to come to a decision that will be the best for everyone.
3 Steps to Care for An Elderly Relative
1. List, List, List
The first thing that you have to do is to start making a list of all of the caring responsibilities that will need to be taken care of. Does your relative need help with going to the supermarket? Do they get up in the night and need to be helped to go to the bathroom? Be sure to include everything on your list, no matter how trivial it may seem so that you have a complete idea of what help is needed and at what time of the day.
By following this process, you will have a much better idea of how many people are needed and when to cover all of your relative’s needs.
2. Get Help
If your relative is endangering their own health or safety by continuing to live independently, then you may want to find senior living near me. Although it sounds like a drastic measure, it can actually result in a better quality of life both for you and your relative.
Senior living communities specialize in the health and wellbeing of their residents, and many of them actually facilitate independent living within a community so your relatives can still retain their own lives, just in a way that minimizes isolation and ensures that they are safe.
If you find yourself needing to hire in-home care, you may find that your loved one is resistant to the idea as they may see it as a loss of privacy or independence, or they may simply just not like the idea of having a stranger in their home. If this is the case for you, then the Family Caregiver Alliance has some great tips for how to approach introducing home care.
3. Be Realistic
Most people would prefer to keep caring responsibilities within their own family, but this is not always going to be possible.
Speak with other family members and ascertain who can help with what and when and get a picture of what tasks you can cover.
When assessing your own availability, be sure to be kind to yourself. It’s simply not possible for you to give 100% all of the time, or you risk burning out very quickly, and you won’t be able to help anyone. Be sure to allow yourself time with your own family and friends, time to exercise and time to be alone. You should be aiming not to turn your life into a nightmare!