Deep down inside you knew the day would come when someone you loved would need extra help with either a medical condition, certain daily tasks, or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But what you didn’t know, is how hard it is to admit when that day has finally come. Relying on signs can be good indicators, but sometimes they get muddled by emotions, guilt and denial. Other times they just get missed.
In this post, we’ve identified three everyday situations with signs indicating it may be time to consider live-in care.
1. When Family Members Cannot Take On The Role Of Caregiver
Joan walked in the front door with a pounding headache. Immediately she was greeted with an onslaught of questions and demands by her 3 children. One had a school project due tomorrow and needed supplies, another wanted a lift somewhere, and the last one was starving and couldn’t wait any longer for dinner. Joan snapped at all three telling them to give her 10 minutes of peace. She had spent the day with her mother, shopping, cleaning and making sure all the medication was taken. She was exhausted and had little to no patience left. It was the third day this week she’d given up to care for mum. Thank goodness she had some unused sick days from work. Hopefully, she won’t need them for herself. She could feel a cold brewing in her chest, nothing a good rest couldn’t fix. No matter how frantic things got in her life, she could handle it, even if a few balls got dropped every now and then. Joan loved her mum and couldn’t imagine anyone else taking care of her.
It’s common for children of ageing parents to get taken up with the carer role. The odd chore, shopping, some meal preparation – what harm could it do? Over time some of those tasks can get larger, more involved and demand more time than was initially intended. The results can lead to reduced physical and emotional health, resentment and depression for the caregiver.
When taking care of a loved one is putting your own health at risk, it’s time to explore live-in care.
2. When Aging Spouses Cannot Care For One Another
Jack stared at the phone with a blank look on his face. He’d just returned home from visiting his parents, and the situation wasn’t good. It was 4 o’clock and dad was still in his pyjamas watching tv with a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich on his lap and a cold cup of coffee by his side. It was his leftover breakfast. Mum had fallen a week ago and still wasn’t feeling herself. Today was a bad day, and she hadn’t gotten out of bed once. It was clear they needed help. Jack picked up the phone and started to call his sister Marilyn.
It’s sometimes easy to forget about care options when couples live together. They do have each other after all. Unfortunately, however, many elderly people who care for a spouse may either be unwell themselves or could be aggravating an underlying condition. This will make their health much worse.
When you notice a spouse’s deteriorating health is putting the other’s at risk, it’s time to explore live-in care.
3. When Safety Is A Concern
Bill stood on the front step of his porch looking quizzically at the car parked in his driveway. He looked oddly at the keys in his hands, rolling them over and over trying to remember what he was doing outside. Ahhhh it’s bingo night! He quickly readjusted his grip firmly around his keys confident now of what he was doing. As he slid in behind the wheel the thought of forgetting something again – a traffic sign, where he’d parked, how to get home – briefly concerned him. But his memory only failed him now and then. He was just tired. It’ll be fine. He put the car in reverse and set off towards the community centre.
Developing conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s can be terrifying, for the person and their family. It is the silent enemy everyone fears. Pinpointing the exact moment when absent-mindedness and forgetfulness become a danger can be tricky. Especially if anyone involved is experiencing denial. Keep a watchful eye out for subtle changes in behaviour and have conversations about managing the illness early on.
When you believe your loved one’s condition could be a danger, not only to themselves but to others, it’s time to explore live-in care.
If you’re struggling with any of the situations above, or something similar, and you’re still not sure if live-in care is right for your family, please get in touch. We’d love to answer any questions you have and talk about the options available. Speak to our friendly team on 02392 704 190 or use this form.