Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Full Time Parent Caregiving

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Every year, many adult children make the decision to move in with their aging parent. Their decision to move usually follows an intensive medical surgery or the diagnosis of a debilitating medical condition. When you make this decision, you are taking on a huge responsibility. You are agreeing to take care of all of your parent?s needs, while still handling any current responsibilities. As you prepare for your caretaker duties, you will want to keep in mind the following considerations.

How much assistance does your parent need?
You have to be realistic about your senior parents assistance needs. You may not be able to provide them with all of the assistance that they require. Although moving in with a parent takes care of a lot of the required assistance tasks, there is still likely to be gaps in coverage. Consider hiring a home assistance company for times you are at work, running errands, or sleeping. Hiring a home care company will also take a lot of the burden off of you and will give you much needed breaks throughout the day. They will handle most assistive needs, including eating assistance, dressing assistance, and cleaning different types of bedpans.

How safe is it for your parent to remain home?
Remaining home after a surgery or medical diagnosis is not always the best decision. Sometimes, around the clock care is needed and a nursing home is better suited to their needs. Carefully evaluate your senior parent?s safety in the home. What will they do throughout the night if they need help? Are they able to operate the stove alone? Are they at risk of wandering away from the house in the middle of the night? Can they change different types of bedpans on their own? Work with your senior parent?s medical care team to consider their safety.

Is the home equipped for their medical needs?
Some medical needs can easily be accommodated for, including hernia belts, hospital style beds, and disposable bed protectors. You can purchase numerous types of bedpans and bedding to make them comfortable. However, you cannot always make the house handicapped accessible. If your senior parent requires medical walkers, they might have to complete physical therapy or rehabilitation before returning to their home. If possible, choose one of the best walkers for seniors that can be used in their home. For example, a wheelchair may not be idea, but a rolling walker can fit into wide hallways and bedrooms.

The need for mobility devices for seniors has increased over the years, so you are likely to find a large group of options. Use of canes and other mobility devices soared almost 50% over a recent eight year period, according to interviews of more than 7,600 Medicare beneficiaries (2015). However, nearly 10% of seniors use more than one mobility device. This is usually done to accommodate living situations.

Is this a permanent living situation?
When an adult child makes the decision to move into their parent?s house, it is usually done with the intention of short term assistance. However, many end up staying for many months, sometimes years. Consider your senior parent?s ability to recover. If they had a surgery, it is possible that they will be back on their feet in no time. However, if the assistance is needed due to a new medical diagnosis, it is unlikely that they can go back to living on their own. Additionally, many seniors face multiple medical conditions. More than a quarter of all Americans and two out of every three older Americans have multiple chronic conditions. If permanent help is needed, it might be best to figure out a permanent situation initially.

It is important to consider a senior parent?s health needs and overall health decision before choosing to move in with them. A lot of adult children do not fully understand the task that they are taking on. They may be tasked with things like changing all types of bedpans and watching their parent 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Carefully evaluate your senior parent?s needs ahead of time for a more inclusive care plan.

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