Caring For Elderly Parents: What Do You Do?!

 Sadly, there comes a time in everyone's life where your parents get older. They reach an age where they struggle to look after themselves, for one reason or another. Whether this is a medical condition or just down to old age, the responsibility falls on your shoulders to take care of them. It's a unique situation as you are used to your parents looking after you, so what do you do in this situation? Different people respond in different ways, but here are some thoughts that can help you figure out the best approach:

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Can you look after them yourself?

You absolutely have no obligation to take your parents in or spend time going to their home and looking after them. It is not your duty to be a carer, but you could consider if it is viable for you to look after your parents while still living your life. If you have a family to look after, as well as a job to occupy, this simply won't be possible. Perhaps your siblings are able to look after them, but they may also have busy lives. This might sound contentious, but you shouldn't feel as though you have to put your life on hold to personally look after elderly parents - there are other options. 

What level of care do they need?

Of course, the answer to the first question largely depends on the answer to this one. How much care do your parents need? Are they able to be largely independent but might need your help a few days a week? Maybe they just need someone to do the shopping for them or clean the house? As a result, you might be able to sacrifice some time between you or your siblings to do this. If not, you can find care services that provide this basic level of care. Or, you may only need to hire cleaners, and that's it!

Alternatively, your parents could be in need of constant or near-constant care and attention. Here, the only two options are sending them to a care home or finding something like Carefour Live-In Care services. Care homes are usually seen as the last resort, giving your parents 24/7 care and attention whenever they need it. Live-in care services let your parents stay at home, but they get carers visiting them multiple times per day. 

Again, the level of care and attention they need will dictate which option is the best for them - in most cases. 

What do your parents want?

Naturally, you must also consider what your parents want in this situation - within reason. Ask them how they feel about moving to a care home, or if they'd rather stay at home. If your parents are of sound body and mind, you should listen to their requests. Unless, of course, they are unreasonable and you can't grant them. Still, in a lot of cases, you can help your parents get the care they need by asking them what they want or what would be most helpful. 

Nobody likes thinking about looking after their parents as it can be quite sad. However, it's something you may have to deal with at some point, so take the time to consider what needs to be done. 

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