How To Move Elderly Parents Into Your Home Smoothly

grandparents-1038201_640

 

Many adult children would want to do this for their elderly parent, but not all of them can. We will go over a checklist of factors to consider when deciding whether this is a mutually beneficial move for the both of you.

 

What Kind of Care Does Your Senior Loved One Need?

Senior care is a very nuanced industry. There is no “one size fits all” approach to elder care. Various conditions call for unique skill sets for monitoring, administering medication, or performing physical therapy or memory exercises. For all your good intentions, it may be a real possibility that your household is simply not qualified or equipped to meet a senior’s extensive needs. So, it is important to consult with a doctor together and determine just exactly what those specific daily living needs will be and whether you are fit to help.

 

How Much Daily Assistance / Monitoring Can You Provide At Home?

More and more households in the US are dual income, and it is harder for many parents to provide the attention needed for their own children, let alone the serious health monitoring of a senior loved with dementia or other critical conditions. There are daycares for kids while parents are at work, and there are also adult daycares for seniors in many communities, but you will need to sort out whether you or your spouse truly have the time to offer the monitoring you elder loved one needs throughout the day and night.

 

Will You Both Get Along Well?

Maybe you aging mother or father could benefit from your help, but do you have a good relationship? Not every family is all rosy. Many have difficult issues they are still dealing with internally or bitter unresolved conflicts. You must never feel “guilted” into having to take in a senior loved one out of sheer obligation if your heart is not in it and you cannot emotionally invest in them.

If you do not feel called to make the commitment, then resentment and bitterness can quickly grow, leading to a nasty environment for all. Senior care is very much a team effort, and if you are not emotionally willing to work as a team to reach each other’s goals, then there is no harm in considering a senior care facility, for the emotional and psychological well-being of everyone.

 

How Senior-Friendly Is Your Home? Do You Need to Make Adjustments?

You may want to help out your elder parent in need, but is your home conducive to the care that he or she will require? Some living spaces are bad for dementia patients or seniors who could be seriously harmed by a fall. Slippery floors, unlocked doors, cluttered furniture. These can all impair the daily tasks that a senior may need for home care.   There are measures you can take to safety-proof your home (install railing, clear the clutter, set up door alarms, lay down bathroom mats, etc). So just be sure to sincerely evaluate your home before starting a home care routine with a senior loved one.

 

Can Your Senior Loved One Chip In To Cover Any Costs?

An advantage to your aging mother or father for moving in with you may be that your housing may be less expensive than a senior living facility—but you do not have to feel obligated to house them for free. Some seniors hesitate to move into an expensive assisted living community because they fear that yearly costs may quickly drain the inheritance they wish to leave their children. So, arrangements of payment for lodging in your home are often favorable to seniors.

As a family, you both can work out the best monthly/ quarterly / yearly finance arrangement to agree upon for moving in senior parents. Caregivers will quickly find that monitoring and assisting senior loved ones with daily living is a “real job,” and it is completely fair to discuss payment for the time and energy that goes into the work and providing the living space.

Handling Senior Dementia Behavior

old-peoples-home-63617_640

 

It can be challenging when attitudes and behaviors start to change in this person you have known so well and loved for so long. Sometimes it can be like they are a totally different person, and this can require a great deal of patience. Maybe more than you know that you possess. Dementia is a dynamic disease, the condition will constantly develop. There is a spectrum of behaviors associated with dementia, and it is best to understand and adapt to the specific behaviors of your loved one and use the best approach.

Memory care facilities and assisted living communities are always an option, but many seniors would like to live with their loved one for as long as it is still possible before having to make that decision. At first, any changes in behavior may seem frightening and confusing, but we will provide several key tips for dealing with a senior loved one’s dementia behavior at home.

These tips are meant to help you retain as much of the lifestyle and partnership the two of you have been used to for many years.

 

You don’t have to necessarily do it alone either. Keep in mind that care can be a team effort, not simply babysitting. It is always best if you can solve a problem together. As the brain becomes more and more compromised, this will not always work. There may come a point where almost all of a loved one’s decision making will be up to you, and perhaps to the point of making the tough decision for memory care facilities as the next step.

 

Identify causes / triggers of worsening behavior

-It is true that little is known about what exactly causes Alzheimer’s disease in seniors in itself. However, at certain stages of dementia there may be specific situations, circumstances, or even objects that serve as triggers to cause bad dementia episodes that may lead to hysteria.

-Sometimes the behavior of a senior with dementia is more embarrassing or disruptive rather than harmful. It is wise to avoid correcting or reprimanding a senior with dementia when a circumstance is not critical to avoid the risk of escalating the situation or creating more confusion. Often times a senior with dementia may not even have realized the mistake they’ve made and may be incapable of appreciating how to correct it.

 

Do Any Patterns Indicate Behavioral Problems? 

  • If and when an episode occurs, once it has been resolved it may be good to evaluate what happened and try to look for what factors were involved in the problem. They may be obvious, like turning off the television leading to protest. They may also be subtler, like the time of day, weather conditions, or amount of darkness in the room for instance.
  • Try to be aware of the household environment conditions at all times. Change can be uncomfortable for dementia patients, and you may not realize the impact that a strange new smell or noisy new stimuli can induce on the ease of a senior with dementia’s mind.

 

Be As Understanding As Possible

  • Do as much as you can to validate the feelings of your senior loved one with dementia. They may no longer be in the position to make their own daily living decisions, and it may not be wise to correct or argue with them. However, a senior with dementia is still very much an emotional being, sometimes doubly so. It is important at this point to do all you can to demonstrate your empathy and show them that you are treating them with dignity, respect, and love.
  • You will be creating a new routine with them, and whether they remember you or even appreciate you as much as they should, you must do all you can to present positive, reassuring stimuli into their world.
  • Your body language and tone of voice will often communicate more information to a senior with dementia than anything you actually say. You must do as much as you can to be mindful of this even in the midst of the most stressful confrontations or inevitable dementia episodes. By being understanding and emotionally supportive, you are equipping yourself for an easier job overall.