While caring for an aging, frail relative isn’t easy, there’s a more difficult challenge in choosing the best way forward for their future. And while the responsibility of looking after your elderly loved ones may seem manageable, this isn’t something you want to take lightly. From the emotional weight of this decision to the enormous challenge that awaits, there are some good reasons why you should consider exploring other options.
What Could Go Wrong?
If you think that bringing your elderly relative into your household makes sense, think again. As soon as they get into your house, you’ll find yourself facing a myriad of challenges, most of which you’ll probably not have anticipated, including:
-Your life will be turned upside-down, to say the least. First, you’ll be forced to reduce the number of hours you work each week (or even stop working altogether) in order to attend to your loved one’s needs. So unless you’re ready to sacrifice your livelihood to take on the responsibility, this is the last thing you want to do.
-You and your family will have to adjust your social lives. Brutal as it sounds, elderly people need almost as much attention as infants. So when you start looking after your aging relative, the occasional night-out-with-your-friends will turn from a reality into a distant dream. More significantly, creating a hospitable environment for the frail individual might force you to compel your kids to be quieter as they play. There’s also the fact that they’ll be constantly in contact with the person, which may be a little too much to take for their young minds.
-Most people find new environments to be uncomfortable and distressing. Add into the equation the vagaries of age, and you can see how difficult the situation will be for your elderly relatives when you bring them into your house. Besides, you might be forced to leave some of their treasured possessions behind due to lack of enough room in your house. Not to mention some of the challenges they might already be dealing with (illness, bereavement, depression e.t.c.).
-Your elderly relative will naturally feel guilty as a result of their dependency on you, which may, in turn, lead to anger and depression.
Making the Decision to Hire a Home Health Aide
As you can see, bringing your elderly loved one into your home will not be as easy as you initially thought it would be. A more prudent solution would be to hire a home care aide — this will negate the need to uproot the elderly individual from their natural habitat. As a result, they’ll be able to go on living the life they’re familiar with, even if it’s just for the foreseeable future.
Besides, your relative and the home health care aide will naturally develop a relationship as time goes by. Having a companion within reach will be of immense benefit for your aging relative. This is something you should never take for granted, considering how big a problem loneliness is among the elderly.
As with any other important decision, choosing the right home health aide can prove somewhat daunting. You want to entrust the responsibility of caring for your loved one in the hands of a trustworthy, likable and affordable individual. Knowing how hard it can be to find someone who fits the bill, it might be worthwhile to consider using an agency. Most established agencies will usually carry out a full background check of all their employees, besides requiring that they are licensed, bonded and bring with them some good references. So put some effort into finding the right elderly home care agency and, from there, you’ll rest easy knowing that your relative will be well looked after.