[This is a sponsored post for the ExtraCare Charitable Trust.]
Caring for elderly parents is a subject some are afraid to think about. Their minds are filled with images of nursing homes where their parents are constantly medicated, lonely and depressed. The fact is, there’s no need to feel this way, as there are many viable alternatives to care homes.
From individual care homes, to controlled flats and retirement villages, there are so many ideas to look at. You need to consider the following:
1) The level of care your parents need. Do they just need a little help with everyday things like shopping, laundry and cleaning? Or do they need round-the-clock care?
2) Will new housing improve their quality of life? Certain care options would only serve to limit and depress parents who have been used to a certain way of life for many years.
3) The distance from their current home, and whether or not they have the will to move away.
4) Long-term happiness, health, finances and well-being. While one option might seem good now, it might be unsuitable in five years’ time.
All these considerations can prove overwhelming to many families. But, there are things one can do to help. First, all options should be researched thoroughly, regardless of one’s initial opinion on them. It’s a good idea to consult your family GP and get their professional advice. Second, it’s vital that families do their best to be open and honest with each other about their feelings towards each option, whilst maintaining respect for one another’s views. Otherwise, the process will be very difficult. Finally, children need to get to know in detail every aspect of their parents’ life. This includes information on medications, foods they are eating, ability to finish daily tasks, how active they are – you need to know them through and through. It’s the only way to getting to the right decision.
Care homes are the most suitable for the least impaired parents, offering simple supervision in case of emergency while they carry on as normal. Retirement communities are even better for those who might miss the feeling of being surrounded by real neighbours and friends. Parents can live their lives as they want; make new friends, learn new skills and stay healthy and happy receiving all the care they need. Whatever the case, no stone must be left unturned in your search for the ideal care solution.