As the Baby Boomer generation continues to get older, the largest portion of the U.S. population are becoming senior citizens.
This poses all sorts of unprecedented issues for families and communities that have to accommodate an older population that sometimes can no longer live on their own.
If you have a parent that needs care, you may be thinking about bringing them into your home. Taking care of a senior parent is an emotionally and physically draining responsibility.
There are many areas of life that will change for everyone involved. Depending on the level of care needed, your whole life could change in a very short amount of time.
To help you deal with the changes and challenges ahead you will need to open not only your home but also your heart. Along with getting the necessary information and training like CPR instruction from a trusted agency like Newcastle Training, you will need to make concessions and compromises in your own life.
Setting Up Your Home
The amount of changes that you will need to make around your home will largely depend on the health and special needs of your parent.
To keep your parent safe you will need to “senior proof” your home. Reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents in your bathroom by installing safety handrails, non-slip mats or carpets, and make sure that any stairways have proper railing systems.
Your parents will be going through a lot of changes when they give up their independence and leave their own homes. Setting up a private bedroom and space for your parent can help them to adjust to their new surroundings.
Make sure to include special items from their homes including bedding and decor items that will bring them the most comfort.
Whenever possible, include your parents in the daily routine of your home. Your parent will likely not want to feel like a bother or like they are intruding.
When you bring a parent into your home you will have to accept that some of the major roles in your relationship have changed. This change may leave you considering yours and your parent’s mortality. Although no one likes to think about the end of life, it is a fact that we will all face.
With the inevitable role reversal sometimes comes resentment and friction. It’s important not to rush your parent into making any decisions and allow them to feel like they are part of the process instead of being told what to do.
When your living situation changes and you have to start dealing with the daily stress of caring for a senior parent, your patience can be easily stretched to the limit.
The most important thing to remember is that you are now the protector and care provider for your parent. Treating them with gentleness, love, and respect can help you both to get through the tougher times.
It’s okay to ask for help when you are struggling with the care of your parent. Reach out to their doctors and in-home nurses for advice and tips on how to make their care smoother for everyone.
If you have siblings, you can reach out to them to help split the responsibility of care.
Ask your family to participate by taking your parent out for the day or even for a few days to ease some of the stress. You can even join a support group for children that are caring for senior parents for advice and a place to talk about your worries and vent.
Taking care of a senior parent has many challenges. Both of your lives will change and it can take time to make the adjustment for everyone. If you approach the challenge with love in your heart and practice patience and understanding, you can help your parent enjoy their later years surrounded by family.