Moving your elderly or disabled loved one into a care facility is a decision that you’re likely to eventually come across. It is an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking decision and can affect the whole family. But while it is sometimes necessary to place your loved one in assisted living, there are ways to keep them at home for as long as possible. In this post, you will find information on how to decrease the burden of being a caretaker, how to keep your family member safe in their home, and when you should consider placing them in assisted living.
Keeping Your Senior Family Member at Home
As people age, they often develop health conditions that make it nearly impossible to safely live on their own. Memory can start to fade, their ability to navigate their home safely might decline, or they might have a condition that poses an immediate threat to them if help isn’t immediately available. How can you help them?
First, the most common solution is to provide help yourself. Depending on the severity of their condition, you can stop by their home on a regular basis and provide help with things that they can no longer do. Tasks such as cooking, taking medications as directed, maintaining good hygiene, and caring for any pets they might have can be difficult for a senior. By dedicating a portion of your time to doing these tasks for them, you can greatly affect their ability to remain at home. Occasionally, their health is much worse and it might be necessary for them to have constant supervision. This can have a dramatic effect on your own life. Try to get help from other family members to spread out the duties. The longer you can handle being a caretaker, the longer they’ll be able to stay at home.
One of the most important factors that affect keeping your elderly family member at home is their ability to move around safely. This is of even greater importance when you can’t be there at all times. Things such as a stair chair lift can help keep them safe. Having an emergency service ready at the press of a button can also greatly impact their ability to stay at home. Seniors often have to worry about falling and not being able to get back up on their own, or even being injured. While a chair lift will decrease the likelihood of injuries occurring on the stairs, seniors still need an emergency button located on their person.
If your loved one still prepares their own food, you can replace older forms of cooking technology with safer versions. Gas stoves are a bigger danger than electric. A simple lapse in memory can turn something as simple as cooking a burger into a life-threatening affair. Installing an electric stove or another cooking implement, that isn’t as dangerous, can greatly affect their safety for the better. Some newer stoves even have an automatic off for the stove or oven after a certain length of time.
Finances can also affect their ability to stay at home. It’s important to save money. When you attempt to care for your elderly family member, you essentially take on responsibility of their finances. They might have their own money to supplement your efforts, but the cost of maintaining their home and their needs can be astronomical. Use coupons to save money on purchases for the home. Seek government aid if possible to alleviate some of the financial burdens. There are a lot of different resources for caretakers to take advantage of.
Knowing When it’s Time to Stop
This is the hard part. Sometimes it becomes too difficult to continue the amount of care needed. You can’t be expected to sacrifice your own health and happiness to keep your loved one in your home. There are a few different signs that it’s simply time to stop being a caretaker.
First, you have to be honest about how much you can handle. You probably have your own family to take care of by time your elders have reached the age that they need help. If your responsibilities as a caretaker are damaging your health or your relationship with your family, it’s time to consider assisted living.
With certain conditions, you might notice violence or tendencies to self-harm. When these behaviors start to show, it’s time to get help. As much as you love your family member, these behaviors are not only dangerous for your loved one, but they’re also a serious threat to you. Assisted living centers have staff that are trained to deal with such behaviors in a way that’s best for your loved one.
It’s a difficult choice and most people often feel guilty; however, a proper assisted living center can greatly help you and your loved one. You can help out by ensuring that the center is a good one. Forbes has recently put out a list of questions for you to ask about a center before moving your family member in. Consider taking a look if you are facing this situation in the near future.