It is said that to care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours — a kind sentiment, but one that comes with challenges.
Our parents gave us life and showed us the way of the world, just like we’re doing for our little ones; so of course, we want to help them in their time of need. Perhaps they have health problems, or maybe they’d like a little more personal company on a regular basis — either way, it can be difficult to juggle. From knowing where to start, what type of care and support they need and who pays for it, there are many questions to ask.
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So whether your parent wants to stay at home but needs a helping hand, or if you’re searching for alternative living arrangements across London, here’s a breakdown of which options are available to support both you and them.
Stay At Home
Independent living is important to many people as they grow older, so your parent may want to remain in their own space for as long as possible. There are many ways to support this decision so they can stay in their familiar surroundings.
In a practical sense, they may benefit from daily living aids, if they’re unsteady on their feet. Grab rails, a stair lift and helpful kitchen equipment are all especially useful to help them continue with everyday tasks, while adding necessary safety.
If they’re struggling with personal care, such as washing themselves or getting dressed, in-home care is an option. This is when a caregiver visits on a regular basis or they can even live with your parents to help, so they can stay at home for longer, but with routine assistance.
Move in With Family
On the other hand, in-home care can be expensive, and while your parents may really want to stay at home, it’s not always possible, especially if they require more attention for medical needs or if they’re at risk of falling. Instead, you may like to invite them to live with you, if you have the space and resources available.
This can be the next logical step to saving money, spending more time with them and worrying less by knowing you can check on them at any time. But adding an extra person to your household can bring extra stress to your day-to-day life and you’ll need to make alternative care arrangements when you’re staying late at work, have other commitments or even if you just want a day off.
Then, you and your family would benefit from using respite care for the elderly services, which is often sought by those who care for a friend or family member during periods where they require additional support. This essential break allows you to take short breaks, so you can relax and recharge your batteries.
Find Residential Care
Another option is to find a suitable residential care home so that you parent has 24/7 care available.
There are different types of residential homes, including:
Care Homes: Providing personal care, such as washing and dressing, as well as organising social activities.
Nursing Homes: Assistance from qualified nurses is also provided.
Care Homes with Dementia Care: Specially designed to make people with dementia feel comfortable and safe.
Residential care can be expensive but there is help available to meet the cost. Your local council can carry out a care needs assessment, which includes a financial assessment, to look at your income and savings.
How Do I know Which Care Option to Choose?
The first step to getting further advice or more information about funding is to get a care needs assessment from your local council.
Find your local London council and get in touch with the adult social services department to ask for a care assessment. There’s no charge, as you’re entitled to a care assessment regardless of your income and savings, no matter what your needs are.
Choosing the right care option for another person, especially someone who you love dearly, is a big decision, but with a foundation understanding of the above care options and an open line of communication, it’s a conversation that will bring valuable benefits to the whole family.