Free guide to caring for an elderly parent
HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE DEALING WITH THE ISSUES
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.homeinstead.ie.
President McAleese cared for her father-in-law in Aras an Uachtarain.