(ThySistas.com) We grow up with our parents looking after us. However, as we get older, these roles may reverse. Your parents may have mobility issues which affect their independence or they may be suffering from mental deteriorative illnesses such as dementia making them unable to make rational decisions for themselves. You yourself may have your own life to think about – perhaps even your own children to look after. Having to also care for your parents can be stressful. There are three real options that you can choose from when deciding how best to care for your parents. Here’s a guide to help you make the best decision for you, your parents and everyone around you.
Hire an in-home carer
For many senior citizens that still want to cling onto their independence and who don’t have serious health problems, hiring a part-time in-home carer may be enough to take the pressure off.
For those with more serious conditions, a full-time carer may be needed. This will cost more – in some cases it could cost even more than care home fees. Of course, carers may charge different fees.
An in-home carer can be ideal if you don’t have the time to look after your loved one yourself, or if you loved one is adamant that they want to stay in their own home. There’s a waiting list for public care services. Going private may be more expensive but could be more flexible in some cases. It’s worth interviewing multiple in-home carers and finding out what their previous experience is within the trade. This will help you to find the best suited carer to look after your loved one’s needs. You can lower the cost of finding in-home care by using care discount codes.
Consider a care home
Many people are reluctant to put their loved ones in a care home. They may feel that they are abandoning their loved one by doing so. However, in many cases, a care home can be the most beneficial and sensible option. Care homes allow around-the-clock care and are staffed by qualified professionals who are used to caring for those that may have serious mobility issues or mental degenerative diseases. Many care homes also allow a degree of social interaction that other forms of care may not provide.
Care homes also have got a bad rep for being understaffed or for cases of neglect. The truth is that cases of mistreatment are rare and even if they do take place you can always hire a support worker or nursing home injury lawyer to make a case against such behaviour. Many care homes have a good reputation and are well-staffed and well-maintained. By taking your time to visit many care homes and ‘shop around’ so to speak, you’ll be able to find a good quality home that is best suited for your parent.
Choosing a local care home will allow you to visit more easily without having to travel a huge distance. That said, you may find that there are no care homes in your area that are to your liking.
Care home costs can be very expensive. Some of this may be payable out of their retirement fund or pension, but it’s likely you will have to chip in a huge amount. Care homes do vary in cost – usually those that offer more luxury services or have higher demand due to location are more expensive. You can negotiate care home fees in many cases. Another option could be to not make them a permanent resident – they could go to a care home every other week and then you or an in-home carer could care for them the rest of the time.
Care for them yourself
The third option is to care for your parents yourself. This is by far the most difficult option – whilst it may be easier with parents who still have some independence, those that are completely reliant on you will require the care and attention equal to another child. On top of the physical and mental stress, there may be emotional stress to contend with. However, those with a strong enough bond may be able to get through it easier than they may initially think.
It can sometimes by far cheaper to become a carer yourself than opting for an in-home carer or a care home, although you will most likely have to sacrifice your job which could mean living off of benefits and a carer’s allowance.
If they live nearby, you may be able to visit their home on a daily basis and care for them there. If they live far away, you may find it easier to have them move in with you. This may involve having to convert your home for their needs such as adding grab bars on walls, clearing corridors or adding a stairlift.
It’s likely that you will have to discuss such a decision with your family. If other members of the family are not happy with the decision, it may cause a huge strain on your relationships. If everyone is supportive it will be far easier.
Being able to care for them yourself does give you total control over their quality of care. You may be mistrusting of caring staff or you may simply want to be able to give your parents a greater sense of freedom of happiness.
It’s important that you get help as a carer. Other family members and friends of your parents may be able to take the pressure off on some days allowing you some freedom. There are also lots of support services out there for full-time carers that make caring for your parents easier. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of these – various grants and payments could allow you to pay for their care. This may include free transport services and even free access to attractions.
Staff Writer; Latasha Brown