Making nutritious meals for Mom, ensuring sure she takes her medicines on time, helping out around the house, watching movies together –these are what most people think of when it comes to caring for ageing parents. Unfortunately, senior care isn’t always so easy: A friend of mine moved in with her mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. One day, her Mom called her to the door of the bathroom and asked her what the roll of toilet paper was for.
Is This You?
Many seniors have at least one child who sacrifices above and beyond to help out a parent during the ageing process. But even if the situation with your parent is not so extreme, caring for seniors can quickly overwhelm any family caregiver. It’s a good thing that there is more than one way to fulfill what is possibly the greatest duty towards your parent/s, without taking yourself under in the process.
Most people think of an outside caregiver as only handling medical issues.* It’s a great world when things change for the better. Below are some of the ways a professional can give you a break from the full-time job that is caring for the elderly:
In-home Care Can Increase Social Interaction
Do you feel like you’ve heard all Dad’s stories? Although mental stimulation is vitally important for the elderly, being their sole companion can really wear you thin. A home care agent can:
- Discuss current and historical events with Dad,
- Plan visits, outings and trips, and
- Buy magazines, papers and books.
Personal Care Assistants Help Preserve Dignity
Noticing a persistent smell of urine around the bed and bathrooms? A personal care assistant discretely takes care of issues Mom doesn’t want to discuss (and helps her get that lipstick on straight when she goes out.)
Homecare Professionals Help Keep Life Running Smoothly
Homecare can be just that: care for the home. As a senior, Mom just doesn’t have the same level of energy or ability to do everything around the house. If you’ve been filling in, you already know there are only so many hours in the day. A homecare professional can help:
- Pick up prescriptions,
- Organize and clean closets, and even
- Assist with pet care.
Placing her Mom in a care facility might have been more ideal, but my friend was able to get elderly home care for her Mom thrice a week. Although she still had to deal with many of the “big jobs” on her own, the help she received with even more of the smaller details really helped to reduce her stress level and give her much needed breaks.
*In home care workers are usually qualified nurses and nursing assistants that are also trained to be companions for the elderly.