First of all, you should know that it is entirely possible – and feasible – for you to care for your elderly parent or relative at home. An increasing number of individuals are doing this, especially in the UK, for the simple reason that it is more convenient and less expensive than sending your elderly parent or relative to a nursing facility.
But before you decide to care for your elderly relation, either at their own home or in yours, it is important to think about certain factors first. These factors will affect the success of home care and make everything much easier for everyone – your elderly relation, yourself, and the caregiver or nurse you choose.
The elderly patient’s safety
One important factor to consider is the elderly patient’s safety. If your elderly relation will be staying at home, then you need to prepare the home to reduce the risk of slips, falls, and other accidents. What you can do is go through the entire home from room to room and assess and determine any potential hazards or risks to your elderly relation’s safety. This is especially true if your elderly relation has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s – a complete inspection of the home is necessary, and this needs to be done regularly as well.
Your own and your elderly relation’s finances
Another main factor to consider when you are planning to care for your elderly relation at home is the state of both your and their finances. Find out what their health insurance covers when it comes to medical help and services as well as products and medication. But other than this, you should also think about your own finances, as there may be some needs or equipment your elderly relation requires that may not be covered by their insurance.
In addition to assessing both your and their finances, you should also discuss other important matters, such as power of attorney, DNR or do-not-resuscitate orders, end of life care or assistance, and other directives. If your elderly relation needs 24-hour or live-in care, then you may need to take further stock of all your financial resources as well. The good news is that there are many live in carers in the UK today that can provide your elderly relation with the proper care and assistance who are not only fully qualified but offer an affordable service as well.
Your elderly relation’s medication
When planning home care for your elderly parent or relative, you should also talk to their physician about their medications and what they need. Take some time to understand how their medication works and learn how to use it properly so you can then give the right instructions to their carer as well. You should also find out from the physician what might happen if the patient does not take their medication at the right time, or if he or she accidentally takes an excess amount. The main aspects you need to learn about their medication are its dispensation and dosage, its schedule, and whether or not it needs to be taken with food or after meals.
If you can, you should also ask any prospective live in carers for your elderly relative if they can perform household tasks and duties or provide your elderly patient with a good, balanced social life by taking them to the park, to the museum, or even on a simple drive. This way, you will also have a better idea of the extent of the service you are getting from a carer or nurse for your loved one.