Thanks to the advancement in medicine, our lives are prolonged and inevitably, most of us above the age of 50 would most likely need to take care of our parents or may get involved similarly with siblings, or even some relatives.
This is nothing to lose sleep over before it happens, but it would be something to think about and plan for so that when it does happen we will not feel too traumatized with the impact to our lives.
Home care is when a person prefers to stay at home but needs ongoing care which cannot be provided for by the family. Given the choice, this is the option most elderly look to as they grow older and their physical capabilities draws down. There are 2 versions of home care:
- Elderly living in their own home
- Living in your home
Either option would require you to stand in and firmly help the elderly come to decisions that are to their best interests. Be very careful to ensure the elderly participate in discussions before making their decisions, though this process for some can be very emotional so it will need all your skill and empathy to handle the situation.
Feelings of Guilt
Take note that roles are reversed now, instead of their caring for you, you are now caring for them and this may make them feel useless, inadequate, resentful and guilty. These could cause tensions during discussions as well as making the relationship hard and difficult.
The important thing for you is to understand and ACCEPT this so that discussions can move on. You will need to manage the discussions and relationship with care, patience and empathy, maintaining their dignity and pride.
Of course, you have to stand firm, be assertive and not be blackmailed or coerced to their demands that are unreasonable. One thing to watch out for is not to get into a debate with them over travails when they are making statements that are not appropriate. It is not worth it and will strain relationship.
Move to Nursing Home
There may come a time when you may not be capable to care for the elderly either when they need more medical attention or when you have changes to your own life. There is the other option that can be discussed with the elderly and that would be moving the elderly to a nursing home where the needed medication and care is available though this could mean increasing the budget for this.
Discussion on the move to nursing home would be very emotional when the elderly has depended on you this far. There is definitely going to be a lot of guilt feelings around both parties, and do remember that nothing gets solved in an emotional discussion. So, keep calm and handle it firmly and with great care. Take a deep breath and count 1 to 10 before proceeding any time you feel yourself all heckled up.