In-Home Care for Loved Ones: 3 essential skills

Across the nation there are approximately 12 million people that require some form of in-home care. Naturally, almost 70 percent of those people are over the age of 65. The key takeaway from this stat is that many of us may find ourselves in a situation where we will need to care for a loved one at a certain point in our life. Whatever your feelings may be regarding nursing facilities, more and more Americans are choosing to bring their parents’ home, rather than place them in the care of someone else. While to many it makes sense both ethically and financially; there are 3 essential skills to consider when making that decision.

Organization – Bringing someone into your care is no small task and should be given the full amount of consideration it deserves. It’s unrealistic to think that many adults have the ability to work from home let alone be home much at all during the day with busy careers and children. It takes a disciplined schedule and really, the help of the entire family to make the process move smoothly. With meetings, appointments, practice, recitals etc., the family as a unit has to have the ability to work together. Even considering meals for the household can be a daily chore that requires planning as the three generations in the house may require three very different diets. Factor in medications and potential complications from those, the day to day can be a full time job in and of itself. When coming into a care situation it’s important to be realistic about every possible nuance of daily lives and have a game plan for what may even seem mundane.

Communication – As with most new beginnings, there may be a substantially awkward period at the very beginning of a new living situation with a loved one. You may walk on egg shells, not wanting to make them feel uncomfortable or any less independent than they may already be feeling. In the same vein, your loved one may be too prideful to properly tell you what their specific needs may be or even if their health seems to be deteriorating further. Communication is a key component in almost all relationships and these situations are no different. If initially your loved one is not feeling prepared to accept the help that you’re willing to give, an in-home care services provider may be a helpful tool to initially bridge that gap. In-home care providers can tailor their services to your specific needs, so if it’s something you only need initially to get everyone comfortable, that’s great. If it’s something that your family finds value in, you can continue services and expand or scale back however you see fit.

Comfort – If you’re opting for in-home care rather than placing your loved ones in nursing home, it may initially be an uneasy consideration. Comfort is important to consider for both the caregiver and the loved one. Having comfort in your decision, in your home, and in your ability to provide care is paramount. Peace of mind for all parties involved may be worth in-home care alone. Many families struggle with guilt or even have fallouts due to the decision to place an elderly relative in someone else’s care. Being with them towards the end of their life and providing them with quality care and love can be the best way to provide for them comfortably. There will always be difficulties, struggles and successes, but proper in-home care can help your loved ones maintain their independence and dignity throughout their final days.

Whatever your role as a caregiver may become in the future, being realistic, organized, open, honest and available can provide all the tools you’ll need to make the right decision for you and for your loved ones.

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