Our parents care for us when we’re young – but as they get older, these roles can reverse. Caring for elderly parents can be difficult physically, emotionally and financially. If you have no other family or friends that can help, you may have to get help from professional carers. Here are just a few of the different options to weigh up and the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best choice.
Become a carer for them
Some people are able to take on the responsibility of looking after their parents without professional help. This can save costs for many people – unless you need to give up work to provide care for your parents, in which case you could be losing out on an income if you haven’t yet retired. If your parent doesn’t currently live with you, you’ll have to consider whether they can continue staying at their home or whether they will need to move in with you. Huge lifestyle changes may need to be made if they move in with you and you need to be sure you can handle these changes (anyone else that lives with you such as your partner or kids will also need to be on board with this decision).
Of course, it’s important to gauge just how much help your parents need. They may be self-sufficient to a certain extent, which means we mustn’t do too much for them. We could also help them become more independent in other ways, but also look to the alternative. If they have a specific ailment, like joint pain, a course of alternative medicine, like CBD or acupuncture, could minimize certain problems. In fact, in a survey of seniors who tried CBD, 89% would recommend it to a friend. Giving them as many options when it’s for the benefit of a lot more independence could make all the difference to everyone.
Hire an at-home carer
Another option could be assisted at-home care with the help of a home hospice care provider. Whilst you’ll need to be able to afford the fees, this could help to lift the burden of providing care yourself, allowing you to still focus on other commitments. It also means that your parent doesn’t have to leave their home.
Take them to a care home
A care home can provide 24/7 care. In the case of serious mental or physical disability, it can sometimes be the best option if you yourself aren’t able to take on the responsibility. Care homes are the most expensive option however – whilst prices vary from each care home, you’ll almost always be paying more than hiring at-home caring staff. It could also mean pulling your parent out of a familiar environment, which they may not be happy with.
Try a mixture of the three
It’s not uncommon for people to use a mixture of methods when providing care for their parents. You may find that you’re able to care for you parents most of the time but may want to hire at-home caring staff to do certain tasks like getting them washed and dressed at the beginning of each day. Meanwhile, there could be times when a week of respite care in a care home is required if you have other commitments. This could help to reduce costs whilst lowering the level of responsibility, allowing you to still have your own free time whilst also not having to fork out huge amounts of money on their care.