As our loved ones age, their independence may gradually, or suddenly, decline. Depending on how frequently you see your aging parent, for example, you may notice changes in their appearance, behavior, and/or home environment when you visit. Or, you may not notice because you see them so regularly, but when your out-of-town sibling visits, she picks up on some ways they have declined. This flyer shares Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help. We also share this information annually as the holidays approach, and adult children have more opportunities to spend time with their parents, especially when they live out of town.
When changes are gradual, you may wonder if or when you will know it is the right time to consider home care. You may not want to think about it, because it makes you worried and sad to think of your aging parent’s decline. There are two reasons why choosing home care early is beneficial. First, you can begin with a small amount of care to help your both aging parent, and you, to adjust to having a caregiver in their home. This may be accomplished through a weekly nurse visit to pack their medications and conduct a wellness assessment. This may be all the care your aging loved one ever needs, but if their health changes, you’ve already created a relationship that will make the transition of increasing care more smooth and natural. You are also taking a more proactive approach, so that if there is a health problem, the Cooperative Home Care nurse can spot it early and you can act promptly. If, at minimum, you learn what you need to know now, and complete the paperwork required to start services, you will be more prepared to act if there is a planned or sudden need for help at home. You can contact our Intake Nurse, 24/7, to schedule a free assessment. After the assessment your aging parent can receive a few hours of care per week when they are ready. You can start services immediately, or you can choose to complete the assessment and paperwork without starting services, so that you are prepared if you need us in the future.
Another worry when you observe that your aging loved one may need some help for safety and supervision, is, will they accept the help? Our aging parents are proud and hardworking individuals who may be resistant to help at home, even when they begin to need it. Some talking points that we sincerely believe and share with many of our clients include that by accepting a small amount of help, you can actually become more independent without being unsafe. We also observe that many clients who were very resistant to in-home care became very accepting of the help once they understood how it works, and once they were introduced to a caregiver with whom they really connected.
One of the ways we help aging loved ones to stay safely in their home begins with two-hour mini-visits. This is a great introduction to home care. You may choose our two-hour mini-visit Value Package called Intro to Home Care. It consists of five, two hour shifts that can be scheduled at the time of day that meets your aging loved ones needs. For some, that may be a morning shift to ensure they rise at a consistent time, shower/bathe thoroughly, dress appropriately for the day, take their morning medications, and eat breakfast. Or, maybe an evening mini-visit to prepare dinner, help with their shower/bath, remind them to take their evening medications and complete a light clean-up in the kitchen and bathroom before the caregiver leaves them safely ready for bed. You may also start with more or less hours than what are available in any of our Value Packages, as they are a guide to get you started but can be flexible; we can also help you design a customized schedule with the right amount of hours according to your aging loved ones needs and working around your schedule when you are able to assist them.
If you are the primary caregiver for your aging loved one, what happens when you go on vacation or simply need a break? Respite care, which basically means you’ll work with Cooperative Home Care to schedule a caregiver to take your place when you are going to be unavailable or simply need a break. We also travel with families on vacation so that their aging loved one can join them as they are able, and everyone can enjoy their vacation with a caregiver’s help when their client needs a break or extra help. As you feel confident and comfortable with a strong team of caregivers helping your aging loved one, this great balance is attainable.