Adults with age-induced physical and mental frailties require help.
Providing full time care for a parent or aging loved-one within your home is an option. If you are considering this undertaking or are currently providing elder care in your home, it’s not my intention to discourage you. I want you to be mindful.
As caregivers, we are providing a safe, supportive environment while assisting with everyday tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, and meals.
Specialized skills are required; there are costs not tied to dollars.
Duty, love, and economics
There are several reasons why adult children would bring an aging parent into their homes for care.
The choice may stem from a sense of duty and love. Or, it may be an economic decision; in-home care by family members is the least costly.
Many cultures honor the aging by providing a caring, supportive environment within a multigenerational home. Personalized care from family members is widely seen as the most loving; it can impart a sense of personal privacy.
Caregiving is not one-way. Elders have experienced multiple generations in their lifetime. They can bring wisdom, insights, and divergent viewpoints to your home. They often exhibit more openness than those of us in midlife. They enjoy young children.
I know idyllic relationships are not always possible; this is particularly true if an elder has dementia.
What are the risks?
Providing care is physically and mentally demanding. Do you know how to safely transfer someone to and from a bed and to the bathroom? Do you know how to change bedsheets when a person is confined to bed? Prevent bed sores? Clean and dress a wound? Take a person’s blood pressure? Do you know techniques for dealing with behavioral issues induced by dementia?