Free guide to car­ing for an el­derly par­ent


Bray People - - OBITUARIES - Mary FOG­A­RTY

A BRAY OR­GAN­I­SA­TION ‘Home In­stead Se­nior Care’ has re­leased a free hand­book on how to cope with bring­ing an older par­ent into the fam­ily home, as health ser­vices are cut and fi­nances squeezed ever tighter.

‘Even Pres­i­dent Mary McAleese has ex­pe­ri­ence of this,’ said Sea­mus Mur­phy, Di­rec­tor of Home In­stead. ‘Her late fa­ther-in-law lived for many years with her fam­ily and moved with them into Aras an Uachtarain.’

Sev­eral gen­er­a­tions liv­ing to­gether un­der one roof, how­ever, raises both prac­ti­cal and emo­tional is­sues. If the se­nior ci­ti­zen re­quires spe­cific care, the change can be even more chal­leng­ing.

‘Re­gard­less of the rea­son, de­cid­ing to move in to­gether is a big de­ci­sion,’ said Sea­mus. The new hand­book,

is full of prac­ti­cal tips and ad­vice from ex­perts to help deal with some of the emo­tional, en­vi­ron­men­tal and fi­nan­cial is­sues in­volved in cre­at­ing a multi­gen­er­a­tional house­hold.

‘Mov­ing into a new house­hold isn’t easy and ad­just­ments are re­quired from every­one in­volved,’ said Sea­mus. ‘ That in­cludes the se­nior par­ent, the adult child, plus any other sib­lings, and the grand­chil­dren. The new ar­range­ment will im­pact dra­mat­i­cally on every­one in the house. If the se­nior re­quires spe­cial care or as­sis­tance, this will also have a fur­ther ef­fect on their lives.’

He said that prepa­ra­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are the key.

Home In­stead rec­om­mends se­niors should ask their adult chil­dren the fol­low­ing ques­tions be­fore mov­ing in to­gether:

Will I have my own room or space?

What house­hold re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will be ex­pected of me?

Will I be asked to mind the grand­chil­dren and how of­ten?

How much will I be ex­pected to con­trib­ute to pay for house­hold ex­penses?

What will hap­pen to my home and any fi­nances or sav­ings?

Will changes be made to your home to make it safe for me (bath grab rails, etc)? Can I bring my pet with me? Will I have a say in fam­ily so­cial de­ci­sions such as hol­i­days and week­end ac­tiv­i­ties? Can I en­ter­tain friends? What hap­pens if I need ex­tra care?

Once all the adults have dis­cussed any­thing else that might be of con­cern, the next step is to in­volve any grand­chil­dren. ‘The most im­por­tant thing is to set ex­pec­ta­tions right from the start. Ev­ery fam­ily mem­ber must un­der­stand what is ex­pected and how they fit in to the big pic­ture. They must all be al­lowed to share their ideas about how the sit­u­a­tion might work,’ said Sea­mus.

A se­nior loved one who is ill or in­firm raises an ex­tra set of is­sues. Sud­denly the adult child, usu­ally a daugh­ter, who is fre­quently al­ready jug­gling the de­mands of her own chil­dren, house­hold and a job, now has to fac­tor in pro­vid­ing care for an el­derly rel­a­tive too. As the per­son ages the phys­i­cal de­mands be­come greater, par­tic­u­larly if de­men­tia be­comes an is­sue.

The sense of ac­com­plish­ment and stay­ing con­nected and close to an older loved one, how­ever, are the ben­e­fits of tak­ing in a se­nior par­ent or rel­a­tive. For a free copy of

con­tact Home In­stead Se­nior Care on (01) 2768122 or go to www.home­in­

Pres­i­dent McAleese cared for her fa­ther-in-law in Aras an Uachtarain.

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