07 Aug 5 Steps to Take When Your Parents Need Help At Home
The journey we take with our parents is one the most profound experiences of our lives. From seeing them as giants or superheroes in childhood, we gradually have to come to terms with the fact they’re flawed human beings. Once this painful discovery is made in our teens, our relationship can flower as they become loved companions and mentors. Then, as we grow older, we witness our parents becoming vulnerable, and needful of care, themselves.
Acknowledging the vulnerability of your parents is something of a roller-coaster of emotions. Dr Ken Druck who works in this field describes it like this:
“Being with my mom in her later years was both joyfully pleasant . . . and painfully difficult. She had become the better version of her younger self—as well as a shadow of her younger self. We delighted at the softening of her tightly wound personality, and cringed at the physical hardening and frailty that came with advancing years.”
For every family the journey is different, although the ingredients of sadness, fear and a deepening of love and appreciation is common in the majority of cases.
Practical Steps to Take With Your Parents
So what practical things can be done to ease the discomfort of this period for parents and their children dealing with the infirmities of age? Bedfordshire Supported Housing offers a range of care services for elderly people. For this blog we’ve created 5 steps to take when your parents need help at home.
Step 1. Acknowledge the Need for Help
Families that refuse to acknowledge a decline in a parent’s ability to cope, can run the risk of getting ‘stuck’ and not being able to talk about steps that need to be taken. Talking about vulnerability is difficult. Often it helps if you can pinpoint exactly where you can see practical help is needed. Perhaps your mom needs to move her bedroom downstairs, or your dad requires help with the shopping.
Step 2. Plan for the Future
The help the your parents need as they get older will change over time. Professional care is there to assist, support and maintain quality of life. It may be that the best kind of care your parents could receive is companionship, regular check-ins, or the ability to get out of the house for a while. Home care services work with families to tailor care to individuals. As circumstances change, so does the care. In this way, the future is no longer scary; it become a shared journey.
Step 3. Arrange a Needs Assessment
Many families start out funding home care privately. As care needs become more complex, however, government funding may be available to supplement or replace it. In order to find out if you’re eligible you’ll need to arrange for a needs assessment. This is free and it’s carried out by your local authority. Once completed, recommendations will be made for your parents’ care needs.
Step 4. Funding Allocation
Following on from the needs assessment recommendations, your parent will be financially assessed. If they are awarded funding for their care, they will be given the choice to manage the funds themselves. This means that a ‘direct budget’ will be set up, and funds will be paid directly into their bank account each month. These can be used to pay care providers chosen by the family.
Step 5. Choosing Your Care Provider
Care in the UK is no longer about ‘putting your parents in a home’. There are numerous kinds of care on offer, and a range of providers. Just as we put time into finding the right university, or school for our children; it’s worth investing in a period of research when it comes to care providers for our parents.
There’s all kinds of help and advice on how to go about this process and the questions to ask. However, the priority for most of the families we work with, is that their parent’s well-being defines, at all times, the care they receive.
About Bedfordshire Supported Housing
Bedfordshire Supported Housing delivers the full range of care services. We provide practical support and care at home. We have experience and expertise in dementia care. And we’re able to offer palliative care. For all BSH care professionals it’s a privilege to provide care to older people. We honour the lives of our service users. We enjoy their company, share their interests, and tend to their needs.
Are you looking for home care services? For information and guidance call our friendly team today on 01234 954415