After years of living alone or with our partners, many of us are now facing a big change.
Being responsible for an elderly parent can often mean opening the door and inviting them into the family home and while this can be a rewarding experience for everyone, it can also be a tricky change to negotiate. So we’ve put together some advice for helping you make sure the transition goes smoothly for both of you.
Are you making the right choice?
Before moving your elderly parent in with you, take an objective look at the situation and really try to work out whether you’re making the right choice. Don’t be blinded by love and think practically about the level of care needed – your parent may need more than you are able to provide and it may be necessary to employ help or to improve your own knowledge. Carers UK is a fantastic hub for anyone who is caring for a loved one.
Assess the suitability of your home
Do you have a lot of stairs? Do you have a bath or a shower? Does your kitchen have high counters? Consider how these things may impact on someone who has trouble with mobility and look for ways to adapt. A stair rail or a helper stick for reaching things on high shelves can make all the different and allow your parent a better degree of independence.
Get involved in practical matters
It is possible that you will need to start interacting with health care professionals and workers on behalf of your parent. Keeping a diary or extensive list of all meetings and decisions can be very useful when it comes to speaking on someone’s behalf. It is also possible that you may be able to claim aid for financial assistance when your parent moves in, be sure to check out benefit information on the Gov.uk website.
Ask for the help available to you
You’re likely to have a lot of questions and there may be some things you’re not able to do alone, so don’t be shy of looking for help or advice. A few great resources include Age UK, which has a whole host of different services, and EAC, which could help you and your elderly parent make the right decision when it comes to their care. If your parent is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, get in touch with the Alzheimer’s Society for additional support. Don’t let yourself get worn down and remember that carers need a break too.
Living with an elderly parent can be an incredible experience as well as a tough one – enjoy all of the little moments and get help when you need it.
Do you have an elderly parent living with you? Share your experiences in the comments below!