When your loved ones can no longer take care of themselves in the way they used to, and you and your family’s time is taken up with other commitments, such as work and bringing up young children, knowing what you can do to help can be tough. Many Americans assume if their loved one needs care and there is no family member to step in, that their only option is to place them in a nursing or care home. However, there are many alternatives that could help your loved one keep their independence, without putting an additional strain on yourself.
Keeping your loved ones at home for longer could improve their quality of life, enabling them to stay in the neighborhoods they are familiar with, in the home they have grown old in – and allowing them to keep their independence for as long as possible. For many older people, a residential or care home is a last resort – and if moving into one can be put off, the longer the better.
If your loved one is struggling at home, why not speak with them about where they are struggling, and before deciding on residential care, consider the following options to see if you can find a better solution for both your loved one and your family.
If your loved one can take care of themselves to an extent, but is struggling with the practical aspects of day to day living, such as bathing, cleaning or preparing meals, opting for a care at home program could help them stay at home longer.
Many older people would prefer to remain in their home for as long as possible, and home help allows for this to happen. Often it is as simple as getting someone in for a few hours each day to help with the practical tasks or to offer a little companionship when the rest of the family are busy with work or school or are located out of town or out of state.
As our loved ones age, it is the practical things like dressing, getting out the bath and running errands that become a problem, long before health problems take over. Using home help to take care of those things is the perfect way to keep your loved one at home.
Home help can provide as many or as little hours as your loved one requires – from weekly visits to daily calls – and can cover a vast range of services that will give you both peace of mind that your loved one is being taken care of in the best way.
Senior Social Programs
If you live out of town, or out of state, or you’re simply too busy juggling work and kids and school runs to visit your loved one daily, loneliness can become a real problem for the older generation – even if they don’t live alone.
While home help can work towards combating loneliness, often your loved one could benefit from several other approaches to ensure they’re not spending too much time at home alone. If your loved one is mobile, it can be extremely beneficial to enroll them in a senior’s program, such a day center or social group, to help keep them busy and prevent the loneliness from setting in.
Staying in contact with your loved one can also make a huge difference to their day. Investing in a tablet and setting up video calling could help you check in on your loved one every day, even when you can’t get there physically. Encouraging your children and other family members to video call your loved one will help them to feel ‘in the loop’ and prevent feelings of loneliness – even if it has been a while since they last saw you in person.
Friends and Family
While taking care of a loved one can put an enormous strain on an individual person, you can have a good network of family and friends who can help you could find something that works. This can be especially beneficial if you combine assistance from friends and family with home help for the tasks you and your family are unable to complete.
Creating a plan for taking care of your loved one can help share the work amongst the whole family, ensuring no one is taking more strain that others. Having a plan in place will help you to fit in light care work. alongside your own lives. Home help can step in when no one is available, or for tasks you or your family might not be skilled for or are uncomfortable doing.
If you notice your loved one is struggling a little at home, speak with them about the options available and let them tell you how to help. Despite what many people think, residential care isn’t the only answer.