As your dad gets older, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to start thinking about his care needs as he ages. He wants to stay in his home. What happens if he reaches a point where he needs in-home care around the home?
Are you or your brothers and sisters prepared to take time off work to help out? Can you afford to quit a job or switch to part-time hours when your dad needs you? Better yet, does he want you to be the one to help him out?
It’s normal to think that your parents cared for you, so you need to return the favor. But, that may make your dad uncomfortable. He might not want to feel like a burden. You need to consider his feelings when creating a care plan.
Start out talking about your dad’s strengths. What is he happy doing independently? What are the things you know he does well and never needs help? Once you’ve ruled out these tasks, think about where he can’t do things without someone taking over aspects of the task.
For example, your dad can do the laundry on his own, but only if someone carries the hamper downstairs and helps him as he walks down the stairs to the garage or basement. If he needs help with part of the task, it’s a chore that goes onto a care plan.
Your dad can cook a meal, but he can’t dice, slice, or chop ingredients. Arthritis pain makes it hard for him to properly hold a knife, and you don’t want him cutting his hand open again. He needs someone to help with meal preparation.
While building a care plan, you need to involve your dad in every decision. If his cognitive skills are impacted by dementia, involve him as much as you can, though his input may be limited.
How comfortable is he with the thought of you helping him with more intimate care needs like toileting or bathing? Would he prefer to have an in-home care professional helping with those tasks? Does he want you to help at all or does your dad prefer that his children and grandchildren stick to fun activities like trips to local attractions?
You should ask your dad what his preferences are when it comes to having a professional caregiver. Would he want a male or female caregiver if it was possible to choose? He may feel more comfortable having a male caregiver around if he needs help with hygiene and grooming. It’s worth asking if his preferences can be met.
Hire in-home care sooner rather than later. If you wait until something happens to your dad, you’ll feel awful, plus you’ll be planning things in a rush. It’s best to take time and get answers to your questions when you’re in a calm state of mind. Call an in-home care specialist today to learn more about home care.