Caring for elderly parents can be rewarding but incredibly stressful for adult children, who often have obligations of their own: full-time jobs and children at home, to name a few. Here, we hope to share everything you need to know in a five-minute read.
How to help
Because of time constraints, it’s very common for a caregiver to simply perform tasks themselves. While this approach gets the job done, it can lead to increased dependence and make it more challenging to care for your loved one at home.
Instead, it’s important to let them perform the tasks they can perform. Perhaps they need help with the toothpaste but can brush their own teeth, or they need help with compression socks but can put their own shirt on. Encourage independence however you can.
What to do when they refuse care
Refusing care can very stressful, putting intense strain on your relationship with your parent. Everybody has the right to refuse care, so if your loved one absolutely does not want a shower today, you might offer to reschedule for tomorrow. However, if your loved one never wants a shower, they can be at risk of serious health issues and the caregiver may be at risk of neglect. Occasional refusal of care can often be handled at home, but a consistent refusal of care may require the help of a professional team.
The most common modifications to improve safety at home include better lighting in hallways, bathrooms, and stairs; removal of area rugs; and installation of handrails in bathrooms, showers, and along stairs.
Respite for the caregiver
All caregivers need and deserve a break from the stressful task of caring for a loved one 24/7. Some caregivers rotate (perhaps two or three siblings can share the job) while others bring in home health a couple of days a week so they can disconnect and recharge. Many long-term care and rehab facilities offer respite care as well.
To learn more about caring for elderly parents in your home, managing stress, getting paid, or the services available to help, stop by Santé Home Health and Rehabilitation Services today. We’re here for you.