There are so many books, apps and guides to help you learn how to raise your kids but there’s comparatively little guidance about the other caring responsibility that many of us face in our middle years – caring for ageing parents.
How do you tell if your parents would benefit from in-home aged care? And how on earth do you suggest it to them?
What Is In-Home Aged Care?
In-home aged care is help that comes to your parents’ home. It takes many forms depending on your parents’ needs but can include:
- Meal preparation
- Help getting in and out of bed
- Help with showering to maintain personal hygiene
- Allied health and therapy services
- Cleaning and home maintenance
- Modifying their home to make it safer with rails, ramps and shower chairs
- Transport and services to enable them to continue social activities and get to medical appointments.
Signs That Your Parents May Benefit From In-Home Aged Care
- Are Things Getting on Top of Them? Take a look around the house. Is it still clean and well-maintained? Looking after a household is tiring enough at the best of times and it can certainly become burdensome as we age. In-home aged care relieves your parents of the weight of running a home while allowing them to continue enjoying life in their own familiar space.
- Are You Doing More and More? Do you parents seem to need you more than they used to? Are you going around more often, helping them to shower or eat well? If you live further away, have you noticed changes when you visit? If your parents seem like they need more help to maintain their diet and hygiene, then maybe they do.
- Has There Been a Change in Their Health? Has something tipped the balance? It could be a fall or other injury, recovery from surgery or the diagnosis of one (or more) medical conditions with more medications to manage.
- Are Mix-Ups Becoming More Common? Are they mixing up medications or forgetting appointments? Have you seen other signs of forgetfulness or confusion? In-home nursing care helps them to take the right medications at the right time while transport services can help them get to appointments.
- How’s Their Driving? Vision impairments, cognitive difficulties, some medications or simply increasing frailty may mean that it’s time for your parents to stop driving. In-home aged care is one way to adjust to life after driving. Services such as meal delivery avoid the need for grocery shopping while transport services can help your parents get to medical appointments or social activities, helping them stay in good health and connected to their community.
- Are They Keen to Maintain Their Independence? Your parents have been making their own choices for many years and probably want to continue doing so. But there comes a point when they’re not able to continue in their own home without help, meaning the only alternative is moving into residential aged care. In-home aged care enables them to maintain their independence. The help they receive at home conserves their energy, reduces the risks of falls or emergencies and frees them to focus on what they enjoy doing.
Suggesting In-Home Aged Care to Your Parents
The best way to approach this really depends on your parents and your relationship with them. Some people are very open to new ideas; others take time to warm up. Some parents have already begun to recognise the need for help while others don’t see it yet.
Pick a time when you’re all likely to be relaxed and able to talk without being interrupted. Suggest ideas and options but maintain an open attitude and listen to things from their point of view. Don’t push it at first; you can always raise the topic again in a few days or weeks.
One option is a trial of in-home aged care. Your parents may be surprised at how helpful they find it. And if it’s not quite the right fit, maybe a different type of service or a different caregiver could help.
How Focused Health Care Can Help
The question of whether in-home aged care is right for your parents also depends on finding the right provider. At Focused Health Care, we enjoy getting to know each individual client and learning about their lives.
We provide a range of services to help older people continue to enjoy life in their own home. Our flexible solutions are tailored to your parents’ needs and we try to send the same carers so your parents can get to know them and feel comfortable. If you’d like to learn about how Focused Health Care may be able to help your parents at home, then please contact us today.