As your parents get older, they will naturally need a little more help around the house and tending to their daily needs, whether it is bathing, getting dressed for the day, or monitoring certain health conditions more closely, such as diabetes or Alzheimer's disease. If your elderly parent has hit an age or point in their health when this is necessary, it is usually more feasible to bring in home health care agents that actually stay in the house most of the time than you moving in with them yourself. To get ready for this transition, there are a few things you should do in your elderly parent's home and with your parent.
Make sure your parent is familiar with their new helper.
Elderly individuals can be a little scared to allow someone new into their home, so it is up to you to make sure the person you bring in to help out is someone as familiar as possible. Try to introduce your parent to the caregiver several times before they actually come into the home for extended in-house care.
This can usually be arranged with the home health provider, even if it is just a few short visits. If your loved one has Alzheimer's or dementia, it can be helpful to situate a photo of the new caregiver in sight so your parent can get used to how they look. They may even start to associate this person as someone they've known for a while.
Come up with a detailed layout of where to find things in the home.
When a care agent is in the home with your mom or dad, they will need to know how to get around and where to find certain things. For example, they will need to know how to find:
- towels and washcloths for bathing
- personal grooming items
- cooking supplies and foods
- clean bedding and clothing
Create a small reference notebook that lists the items your loved one needs on a regular basis and give this to the new in-home care provider. This reference book can also be used to jot down notes on things like the security system, preferred TV shows, or common visitors who may stop by.
Ensure the in-home agent has a place to rest.
If your in-home care agent will be staying overnight or several hours a day, make sure they have a place to rest while they are in the home. This can be something as simple as an extra recliner in the living room or something more servicing like a small bed in a spare room, depending on your personal live-in agent care.