There comes a time in life, especially if you are lucky enough to still have parents, when they or another elderly relative may need our support and care due to illness. When the time comes around some may consider a nursing home or a live-in carer. A lot of us, however, choose to bring them into our home and look after them as they did us when we were growing up. The decision is always an emotional one as we struggle to come to terms with the situation. If you are planning to have an unwell family member live in your house so that you can care for them, there are a few things to consider and preparations to make.
Do your research
Find out about their condition, you may think you know about a condition but it is beneficial to know exactly how the illness will progress and how the patient’s mind or mood may be affected. You will need to know what kind of help and support they will need, it may be things like stairlifts or occupational therapy, or you may need to educate yourself on how to bathe a person. These are all delicate situations and if you educate yourself fully on the illness and your role into how to look after them you will be able to provide them with the best care.
Adapt your home
You may need to adapt your home to make it wheelchair friendly. If a patient has a degenerative illness and is walking when they arrive- but you know their mobility will soon be restricted it’s a good idea to think about adapting your home for their needs and yours. Consider something like an aluminum wheelchair ramp and stairlifts to help the patient move around with more ease. This will make them feel less of a burden and I’m sure give them a happier state of mind. When considering their own bedroom, you could turn a downstairs dining or reception room into a bedroom, this gives the person easier access to everything downstairs and if you have a downstairs bathroom they won’t have the bother of going up and down the stairs too often.
Get some additional help
Always ask for help if you need it. Caring for a loved one can be emotionally and mentally draining and carers need a break now and then to rest and recharge. You need to be in a fit state with a clear and happy persona to help your loved one. Look into getting a meals on wheels service, or a daily or weekly visit from carers to take some of the strain off. Ask other family members for help too and remember to talk to them. “A trouble shared is a trouble halved” and talking about your hopes and fears in these situations may help you relieve any worries or tension you may have.
The people who look after sick relatives do their loved ones a very special service. If you are one of these people remember to take care of yourself too, and know you are worth your weight in gold.