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Caring for Elderly Relatives in the home

It is a well-known fact that people are living longer these days and more families are trying to keep their elderly relatives at home wherever possible. This is great if it is safe for them to stay with family or in their own home but it is by no means easy and should be carefully considered before settling on a decision. Here are just a few of the things you need to consider:

Making changes in the home

The Mobility Furniture Company

As mobility deteriorates you may need to consider converting a downstairs room in your home to accommodate your elderly relative. They may need specialist mobility furniture to keep them comfortable or to help them continue with some independence such as a riser recliner so they can stand from a seated position without help. The Mobility Furniture Company has everything you could possibly need and will provide great advice about how to make life easier for the caregiver and the elderly.

If you don’t already have a downstairs bathroom then you may need to change a room to provide the necessary facilities or consider an extension (where possible). One other option is to add a stair lift but again this could be costly.

It won’t be a walk in the park

Take stock and think about all of the things that you will need to do for your relative? Write a list going through a typical day and then remember to factor in some of the ad hoc things like GP/Hospital appointments, night care, grocery shopping and personal hygiene. Will you be able to do all of these things alone? Will they fit alongside your work/family commitments? Will you need to hire external help?

Don’t forget yourself

Self Care

This isn’t a selfish consideration, you do need to consider the effect that caring for an elderly relative could have on your own health. Are you strong enough to lift them without damaging yourself and/or them? When will you get time for yourself? What happens when you want to go away for a holiday or if you fall ill yourself, who will care for them then?

Sharing the caregiving responsibility with other family members

If you have siblings living nearby consider whether it is possible for you to share the responsibility of caregiving. Could you take it in turns to live with your relative for a few months at a time rather than having them live with you? If the care can be divided then you need to take the time to sit down and discuss all aspects of care needed. Perhaps draw up a schedule so that everyone knows what is expected of them and when.

Know what help is available

One great resource to check out is Age UK who advise you on the financial support available to carers in the home, the benefits which can be claimed and any support you can apply for from your local council. They will also be able to provide you with information on how to protect your own state pension.

 

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16 Comments

  1. December 5, 2018 / 10:12 am

    This is really interesting – my husband’s nanny is by herself at home now, so we often will check up on her and ensure she can get around safely 🙂

    • December 5, 2018 / 11:00 pm

      It’s a big decision to make but I think if you have a large family who can be on hand to help them in makes life a little easier.

  2. mammasschool
    December 5, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    This is a tough job if you do have them at home. My mum did for her mum, and she would be so exhausted as there is no respite. The house would change almost daily as making it safe was always a work in progress

    • December 5, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      It is so hard, my Father-in-Law remained at home with my Mother-in-Law for a few years but it became unsafe for them and we began to worry that her health was suffering too so made the decision as a family for him to be moved to a home. They are both doing well now and happy x

  3. December 5, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    Looking after a relative at home is not an easy task. I saw a lot of it during my nurse training and I always admired those who did it. Thank goodness there are charities and services out there to offer help and support.

    • December 5, 2018 / 11:17 pm

      It is very hard but as you say there are some great services out there if you can get access to them x

  4. December 6, 2018 / 6:49 am

    Having worked in care in the community as well as care homes before I went to uni. I can attest to how many are living alone and/or with family. It is never easy

    • December 9, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      My Aunt does care in the community too, it’s sad to hear how some people live x

  5. Pati Robins
    December 6, 2018 / 11:58 am

    i suppose i am in a ready for elderly relatives position right now as my home is fully adapted for my disabled husband and house also have to stay warm – but your tips are spot on x

    • December 9, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      Aw thank you for your comment, as you say you are ready for whatever the future may hold x

  6. December 6, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Looking after elderly relatives is hard work, I worry a lot about my parents getting older. My nan is 91 and still lives at home.

    • December 9, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Wow that’s amazing, she is a really good age. I must admit it does worry me too xx

  7. December 6, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    We’ve been there and it’s so difficult for everyone all round. But as you say, there are some brilliant products out there like the reclining/ elevating chair (my nanny has this!) which can certainly make a positive difference. X

    • December 9, 2018 / 10:11 pm

      Yes my Husband’s Grandad had one of those chairs too, which would help him get into a standing position. It was brilliant and make it easier on everyone else trying to help him too x

  8. Wendy
    December 7, 2018 / 9:30 am

    My mum looked after my nan at home right up until the end and it was so hard for her but she loved her Mum so much and couldn’t bear to make her move to an old people’s home so she never complained. It definitely would have been easier if there had been others who could have helped out more regularly so my mum could have had a break xx

    • December 9, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      Oh I am so sorry that is heartbreaking to read but what an amazing thing for your Mum to do for your Nan, she would have really appreciated her doing that for her xxx

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