By Ted Smith
How to keep parents at home for as long as possible
Many caregivers work so hard because they want to keep their older adults at home. We often hear people say “I promised my mom I’d never put her in a home” or “Dad told me he never wanted to live in one of those places.” Besides, assisted living is expensive!
As long as the situation is safe for everyone involved, keeping your senior at home is a wonderful thing to do. But caregiving is also one of the toughest and most stressful jobs you’ll ever have. That’s why it’s so important to have respite care for caregivers and bring in a qualified individual or agency to help with the burden.
Pacing yourself so you’re not running at 110% every day helps you stay healthy so you can keep caring for your older adult. We have 5 tips to reduce the caregiving load and decrease your stress so you can keep your parents at home as long as possible.
1. Understand how much care is really needed
It’s possible that “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” When you’re busy doing various caregiving tasks, you don’t have a chance to think about the overall picture.
To see how much care your older adult really needs, make a list of all the things you’re doing. Is help needed during the day? At night? Is constant supervision needed?
Also, having a second set of impartial professional eyes give their opinion will also help assess the situation. That’s where the importance of an agency comes into play.
2. Be realistic about the care you’re able to provide without harming your own health
Now you can evaluate the difference between the amount of care needed and the amount of care you can realistically provide without harming your own health. Most likely, there’s a mismatch – which is why you’re feeling so burned out. If that happens, it’s time to get respite care for yourself and have someone experienced take over part time.
3. Get extra caregiving help
A good way to reduce the workload and reduce stress is to get some extra help. Make sure the agency is fully insured and ideally licensed in the state where you reside. Check references and always make sure the caregivers have the necessary experience with the ailment.
Some ideas:Enroll your senior in an adult day program – socialization and care for them, much-needed rest for you
Hire in-home caregiving help
Find a volunteer senior companion program in your area
Use a respite care service like Rest Assured Home Care
Automate as many errands as you can – anything that helps you save time and energy is worthwhile.