Caring for an elderly parent can be a challenging thing that anyone might do in their lifetime. And while you should help your loved ones meet their basic needs, you also likely want to provide them with a life that’s filled with joy, dignity, and as much independence as possible.
Taking on this task alone or even with a partner or siblings might feel overwhelming, especially if age isn’t the only factor. In-home healthcare is an excellent option to provide you with the help you need while still allowing your parent to enjoy living at home. If you aren’t sure if the time for outside help is here yet, consider these four reasons an in-home service may be best for your parent.
1. You Have Other Family Responsibilities
The problems associated with age don’t always wait for a convenient time to arrive. If you still have children in your household, providing additional care for a parent may feel like an impossible task. The situation may be even worse if you also have a full-time job, forcing you to balance your life between your work, family, and parent.
In these cases, a companion care service can help relieve some of the burdens by taking care of essential tasks such as grocery shopping, laundry, or meal preparation. Even though this might not seem like much, taking these critical chores off your plate leaves more opportunities for quality time with both your new family and your aging parent.
2. Your Loved One is Alone
Everyone hopes to grow old with their significant other, but life sometimes has other plans. Loneliness is well-known to accelerate cognitive decline, especially in people who may already have early dementia symptoms. It can also lead to depression and other mental health issues, which can have similarly harmful effects on older individuals.
Providing your elderly parent with a companion during the day gives them someone they can talk to while also providing necessary mental stimulation. Simple activities like playing games, tending to plants, or just watching a movie are great ways to keep an aging mind sharp. No one expects you to be there for your parent all the time, and an in-home companion can help fill in those gaps.
3. Your Parent Cannot Fulfill Their Basic Needs
Many people turn to nursing homes when their parents can no longer handle their own basic needs, such as clothing or feeding themselves. Unfortunately, these aren’t necessarily signs that your parent cannot continue to live a somewhat independent life. Early symptoms of dementia or physical issues may leave your parent needing help with basic tasks while still capable in other aspects of their life.
In these cases, an in-home care companion can help only where needed. For example, your parent may no longer be capable of driving and need someone to run errands for them. By filling in the gaps, you’ll help your parent maintain their remaining independence for as long as possible.
4. You Need a Break
You need a break from time to time, whether you need to care for other members of your family or require some time for yourself. The benefits of respite care are not controversial: by taking care of your own mental health needs, you’ll be better able to care for others. An in-home companion can give you an opportunity for some time away from the many stresses of eldercare.
Respite care can be as temporary or as long-term as you need. You can use it as a short-term opportunity for a vacation or alone time or schedule recurring visits a few times per week or month. Either way, this form of support helps you and your loved one by allowing you to live your life and recharge your batteries.
Nancy’s Home Care can help you find the balance you need between caring for your elderly parent and taking care of yourself. Give us a call today to discuss the best companion care options for your loved one.