Unfortunately, everybody ages, and when it happens, the mind slows down and sometimes, the body is unable to cope with its everyday running. This is when it helps to have someone close by who is willing to lend a helping hand. However, when it becomes more than just a helping hand, choices must be made on what the next step should be.
#1 Caring for Them in Their Home
It is highly desirable for both you and your relative for your relative to stay in their own home for as long as possible. However, it is not a point of leaving them there and not then addressing the problem of their requiring help.
You may feel that you can pop in to see them regularly, but they may require more assistance that you can or are willing to give. Having to receive personal care due be being unable to perform certain tasks can be embarrassing for an elderly person at the best of times and this can be doubled when a family member is a caregiver. Somehow, having a stranger qualified to perform such tasks is a much easier step to take.
However, the help that they may require in their homes may not just be able personal care. It could be in the preparation of meals and drinks, performing housework chores, or providing shopping. If you are resolute in keeping them in their own home, you should make sure that you provide them with a panic button so that they can get help if they need it and check in with them regularly either face to face or by phoning.
#2 Moving Them in with You
However, it could be that your elderly relative would benefit from being closer to the family. Moving them in with you is a very big commitment and not one that should be entered into lightly. Your relative will likely have very strong independent views, which could clash with other members of your household who are used to having the last say in any matter.
In addition, you will probably have to make some alterations to your home to help with your assisted living venture. Doorways are going to have to be wide enough for a wheelchair or walking frame to easily pass through, and you may even need to have a stair lift installed, so your relative can gain access to the upper floors of your home.
For that reason, you may, instead, find it beneficial to convert a downstairs room into their bedroom and install an ensuite there for them to use. Again, this will have to be big enough that they will be able to move around easily and safely. You will also have to think about ramps and handrails for the exterior of your home, while grab rails by the door and in bathrooms can be especially handy.
All this additional work costs money and takes time to plan and carry out. So, you should make sure that everybody – including your elderly relative – is happy that this is happening. Of course, your relative may want to pay toward the expense of the work and their running costs within your home.
#3 Checking Out Local Nursing Homes
Inevitably, there will be a time when neither of the above options is going to work, not for you, and certainly not for your elderly relative. This is when they will require 24-hour assistance or have unfortunately been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In these circumstances, you will have no alternative but to place them in a caring nursing home to be looked after.
You must take time to visit those nursing homes that appeal to you before applying for a residence there. This is so you can assess how the nursing home is run and how the other residences are fairing within the nursing home community.
You must choose one that is within easy reach of your home so that you can visit regularly, but even more important than this is that it must have qualified staff members to look after your loved one.
#4 Making Sure That All of Their Paperwork Is Up Together
With any of the choices above, it is paramount that you get your loved ones’ paperwork sorted out. For this, you will need the experience and expertise of a qualified lawyer, such as Ken R. Ashworth & Associates, that deal in areas of the law such as elder law. This will help establish guardianship for your loved one, which can help when making financial decisions on their behalf or making sure that their wishes are carried out. Your loved one should choose a guardian while they can, as if they haven’t and become incapacitated, a court will have to decide for them.
So, as you can see, there is a choice of how you can care for your elderly relative, but with every one of them, you should way up the pros and cons before leaping in. Keeping them in their own home may provide them with their little piece of independence, but this is only good if it is safe for them to be there.
Having them live with you may sound idyllic, but it could put a strain on other relationships within the household, as well as turn the whole living area of your home upside down. Nursing homes are good for those that require in-depth care or full-time assisted living care. This is because there always be qualified people on hand to help and provide the correct level of care and will, therefore, keep your loved one safe from harm.