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My Parents Need Home Care – What Do I Do Now?

If you have ageing parents, you may conclude that they require home care. Learning the options and making the right decisions for their well-being can feel overwhelming, but sitting down with them and talking it over is a good step towards doing what is best for their needs.

When you believe they need home care, here are the next steps to take so that the transition is smooth.

Consider Your Parent’s Needs

When thinking about your next steps, you have to consider the needs of your parents. Step back to understand how much help your parent needs in areas like family support, home safety, mobility, hygiene, medical situation, cognitive health, meal preparation, and social interaction. 

You do not need to bring a home care worker to perform everything. If the parent does not want to move out of the house but can no longer drive, a home care worker can help with medication management and transportation. You can hire home care services  to do many tasks, including getting them to and from doctor’s appointments, running errands, or ensuring that they are taking medicine.

In considering the options above, think about how much support they are currently getting in each category from you and how much they need to stay healthy, happy, and safe.


Look At Your Abilities

Not everyone can do what elderly parents need. As much as we want to be there for them, letting them live independently can be beyond the scope of many people’s skills and time. It’s in their best interest not to waste any time assuming that you and your siblings can take care of all your parent’s needs by yourself.

Ask yourself several questions when thinking about home care needs: do you live close enough to visit regularly? What sort of living situation can you accommodate? Do you have the time to provide some of the services your parents will need? Trying to take on too much can negatively affect your parent’s well-being as well as your own.


Do Not Make Any Decisions Without Their Input

You must approach any home care decisions carefully because many seniors see help in any form as a loss of independence. If you make decisions about their care without them, they are more likely to have a negative view and resist any changes. When planning for home care, involve your parent or parents as much as possible – they will see you more as a partner looking out for their best interests instead of someone looking to take their independence away. 

Don’t think that bringing in a home care worker makes you a bad child or an uncaring person. As long as you make any plans with your parents, you are still a supportive child looking out for the health, safety, and mental welfare of your parents.


Prepare The Home

If home care is appropriate, then there are other things you should do to prepare the home. Make sure all floors and walkways are clear of clutter, including rugs, carpets, cords, and low-lying furniture. Put grab bars in the bathroom and add railings throughout the home, including in hallways. Improve the lighting so that all spaces are bright enough and the switches are easy to access.

Adapting the home for a parent to live independently is also about making small things easier. Ensure that a phone is easily accessible, including a mobile phone with pre-programmed numbers. Make sure that all appliances work well and are within easy reach, and minimize the need to use stools and or bending. 

You may find that some of these  are unnecessary, but every senior is different. Home care can be a part of how they live independently and remain in their familiar surroundings!

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