As your loved one ages, it is important for everyone to be on the same page about their care and wellbeing. Although transitioning to in-home care may be easier than transitioning to a nursing home, there is still a degree of “getting used” to a new reality. Here are some helpful tips to ease some of the stress.
For many families, it can be quite a triggering conversation to discuss new plans for aging family members. In order to ensure your elderly loved one’s safety and comfortability, it is best (and recommended) to open up the conversation as soon as possible. Include the elderly family member’s input and take into consideration what is going to be best for everyone involved. It is best to have everyone on the same page in regards to their care so that if things were to quickly shift, you will be prepared.
In regards to in-home care, your loved one has a bit of an advantage. They get to stay in the comfort of their own homes and still maintain that level of independence when doing the activities that they like to do. With in-home care, seniors still get to partake in the things they enjoy, they just have assistance while doing so. When your loved one is at home, it is advised to make the home as accessible and safe as possible to avoid any issues. There should be proper handholds in bathrooms, a stair-lift if necessary, and an installed alarm system. Make sure that your family member has an understanding of these features and knows how to properly utilize them in case of an emergency.
For seniors, loneliness can become a big issue. For those seniors who receive in-home care may experience this as well. Opening up and diversifying their social pool may greatly help with the transition to in-home care. Have a round-up of friends, family members, and neighbors who can regularly stop by and partake in social interaction with your loved one. Valuing the social needs of seniors plays a large role in their overall happiness and wellbeing. This is why Universal Metro Asian Services in Chicago, IL hosts a variety of activities to help our seniors make friends within the community.
Although the family may think they know what’s best for their elderly loved one, it is important to listen to the wants and needs of the person who needs the care. If they are of sound mind, the overall decision making should be made by them and their decisions should be respected.
When it comes to the precise activities that in-home care will assist with, allow your loved one to make choices. There may be specific activities that they need help with like walking the dog or taking out the trash, but there may be things they feel comfortable doing, like washing the dishes. Find the specifics that they do want assistance with and the things they don’t and allow them to create that space.
With in-home care, your loved one is in the care of a caregiver. The caregiver will help with everyday chores as well as grooming, bathing, and getting dressed. If there are specific activities or aspects of life that your loved one needs help with, the caregiver will assist. With that being said, it is advised to thoroughly walk through plans with their caregiver so that everyone is on the same page and your loved one feels cared for.
Although you may have people on a rotation to come spend time with your loved one, don’t forget to make time yourself. Your loved one is going through a pretty drastic transition in their lives and a bit of normalcy might be nice. On the occasion, bring dinner and spend it with them to ensure they are feeling socially stimulated and not left out. It may seem like they are being constantly inundated with guests and company, but they may be craving some quality time with family.
If transitioning to in-home care is somewhat of a rocky process, try to integrate it slowly. For instance, try having a few, short in-home visits by your caregiver while you’re there with your loved one. This provides a no-pressure atmosphere and can help your loved one still feel in control of the situation. Perhaps leave early on the occasion to leave time for your loved one to get used to having the caregiver around.
One of the larger goals for in-home care is to maintain that level of independence that your elderly loved one has. Some seniors have very precise regimens and activities that they partake in, and it is important to allow them to have that space to do those things. If they are having trouble adapting to in-home care, perhaps have friends or family partake in those activities with your loved one on days where their caregiver isn’t there. This may help them to feel like they still have control over their lives and that they don’t constantly need an aide around.
This next chapter of you and your family’s life will be filled with transition and it won’t always be easy. The best way to keep stress at bay is to keep the communication open between your elderly loved one, you, the rest of your family, and the caregiver. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page in regards to needs, preferences, and goals, can help to make this process happen more seamlessly.
Although talking about aging parents or loved ones can be a difficult conversation, it is best to open up and discuss a plan. In-home care is a great way to ensure your loved one’s safety, while also allowing them to have some independence. The sooner you devise a plan, the better. Universal Metro Asian Services in Chicago, IL can help you answer any questions you may have. Give them a call at: (847) 306-7606, or visit their website here.Homecare 7