When an aging parent or loved one needs care, family members often take on the job of providing that care. If you have recently found yourself in this position, you may need a little help figuring out how to best provide care and keep your loved one safe, happy, and healthy. That’s why we’ve put together some essential questions that caregivers can ask themselves to ensure their homes, routines, and even their health are all up to the task of caring for a senior.
Will You Need to Change Your Current Home?
Adding an additional member to your household can require some big changes to your routine, but you may also need to make some modifications to your home. If you are thinking of changing your home altogether, be sure to research the local housing market before you make a final decision. Knowing average local home prices, typical down payment percentages, and how much you can reasonably expect to get from the sale of your current home will help you determine whether moving to a different home is a reasonable financial option. For example, in Scottsdale, the median sales price for a home in July was $470,000. The average down payment was a whopping 37.9%.
Many times, seniors and their family caregivers are shocked to see that even a smaller home can come with a higher price than anticipated. Those families may end up staying in the current home. If this ends up being the case for you or your senior relative, know that you can still make that home more senior-friendly. You just need to make accessibility enhancements that will allow your senior to age in place without worrying over safety or comfort, such as the top three aging-in-place renovations: bathrooms, floors and lighting, and home entryways.
What Care Does Your Senior Relative Need?
With a safe, comfortable home sorted out, start thinking about what kind of care your senior parent or elderly family members will need to stay healthy and safe at home. Perhaps the only in-home assistance your loved one will need is help with meals or household chores, or maybe your loved one will need more dedicated medical care throughout the day. Assessing these needs will help you begin the search for home care services that are just right for your loved one, and can also help you figure out how to pay for that care. This planning is especially important if you need to finance home care since lengthy paperwork and processing times can be involved. For seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, providing proper care may require further planning and further modifications to the home and daily routine, such as coordinating a plan for wandering and figuring out how to prevent accidents around the home.
Will You Be Able to Still Care for Yourself?
Caring for a senior loved one, whether it’s from afar or in your own home, can be such a loving act, especially if that loved one is a parent who cared for you in the past. Still, it’s important to recognize the potential for additional stress in your life, and the potential health impacts that extra stress can have. For example, caregivers can be more prone to heart disease if stress is left unchecked. If those caregivers are parents themselves, caring for elderly relatives and young children can make those daily stressors overwhelming and it can be easy for stressed-out caregivers to experience burnout or other mental health issues.
As you create your new routines, think about how you can reduce the stress of being a family caregiver. You can turn to the in-home assistance options listed above, or you can even consider other caregiver respite programs, like adult daycare, to give yourself more time to decompress. At some point, you may also need to consider a transition to assisted living. This is always a difficult choice to make for an aging family member, but when that person needs specialty care or there are serious health and safety concerns, it may just be the best choice.
Running through these questions can better prepare you to take on the role of the family caregiver. The decisions you make around senior care can be very personal, and sometimes even painful, so make sure you’re emotionally prepared as well.
Guest Author: Harry Cline – newcaregiver.org Cover Photo Credit: Unsplash
Search for homes in Scottsdale Area. Or, create a custom home search to find exactly the property that your household needs. Homes with in-home suites,
exterior guest houses or extra bedrooms and living areas, whatever your needs are, we can help. For personal assistance, contact Pete Baldwin with Platinum Realty Network email@example.com or 480.326.6521