Who is Providing the Home Care?
When a loved can no longer take care of him or herself, it may be necessary to consider 24 hour home care. Initially, you may believe that you are prepared to take on this commitment. However, you must take into account your personal needs and abilities. It may seem like an easy decision to keep mom or dad, or both, living under your roof. However, 24 hours a day is a lot. Multiply that by seven days and again by four weeks. Are you exhausted yet?
No one can devote 24 hours a day to caring for another person; caregivers need to take care of themselves or otherwise they will not be able to remain available for their parent long term. If decisions on home care can be made before they are required, a plan can be developed. Senior loved ones can voice their choice as well; it is possible they do not want their children caring for them. In their eyes, their children will always be children and not responsible to take care of them. Role reversal may not be an acceptable option for some seniors.
With 24 hour home care, it is not just about performing the typical duties of toileting, bathing, dressing, undressing, feeding, and medication reminders; it is about taking the time to socialize and provide companion care. Even if a senior has a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s, sharing meaningful time with them is important and may actually be more important than other chores. Spending time with a senior loved one should not be a chore, and it won’t be if it’s done in an atmosphere of care and concern, showing the senior how much they are cared for and valued.
If everyone agrees that the daughter or son will provide in home care, make sure to consider getting additional help for the primary caregiver. Using respite care services will allow the caregiver time for rest and recuperation and permit him or her to continue providing care over a longer period of time.