Among the most honorable choices adult children can make is to open up their home to an elderly parent. Our parents did everything for us while we were growing up, so it’s only natural to do the same when it becomes less safe for Dad or Mom to live on his/her own. But there are a plethora of considerations to talk through with your siblings before making this step. Stowell Associates, the top providers of Milwaukee dementia care, shares the key questions to consider to prepare for the best care solution for your loved one:
Do you or one of your brothers or sisters have enough space? If designating a room for Dad will create the need for modifying the kids’ rooms, such as doubling up brothers to share a bedroom or requiring someone to begin sleeping on the couch, it’s crucial to weigh this disruption against the positive effects to the older adult.
Will home modifications be necessary? Go through each sibling’s home who may be thinking about moving Mom in, and try to view it from the viewpoint of an older adult. Are paths clear between the senior’s bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc.? Are there any stumbling threats, such as throw rugs? Will more safety items need to be put in, for example grab bars, a raised toilet seat, or other home medical equipment? Are there steps to manage? Is the home accessible for a wheelchair?
Will someone be at home for the duration of each day? Isolation and the potential risks inherent with an older person being alone will continue to be an issue if the other adults in the residence are working outside of the home.
Is everyone completely on board with the decision? While you may be entirely devoted to your aging parent’s new living arrangements, reluctance or resentment in your spouse can bring about stress and relationship challenges. Make certain that each of the siblings considering providing care talks about the matter fully and openly with the other adults in the home before taking this change.
Are you well equipped to manage increasing care needs? Although Dad may need just a little extra assistance now, disease progression and the standard frailties associated with growing older will change the degree of care needed in time. Consider with your brothers and sisters such possible challenges as incontinence, bathing difficulties, wandering, and falls.
Yet another crucial point to consider is the impact that giving up status as “head of the household” can cause, as it is profoundly problematic for some older individuals. It will take some advance thoughtful planning to determine how to best help the senior maintain self-worth, freedom and a sense of control.
If you and your brothers and sisters are uncertain about your ability to provide the best care for a senior loved one, another alternative that may be better for both the older adult and your family is the addition of a home care provider, such as Stowell Associates. Our expert care managers work with families to make sure that older adults are safe and thriving in their homes – whether that requires just a couple of hours each week for companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with housecleaning and meal preparation, or full-time, live-in care. We offer a free in-home assessment to learn more about the older adult and to suggest a plan of care to address all concerns. Contact Stowell Associates, top providers of Milwaukee dementia care, at 414.963.2600 in Milwaukee or at 262.521.3016 in Waukesha to learn more.