It’s important to know what you’re getting into when helping your parents age at home, Pete says. Vanessa Carr from Care at Home of Washington, talks to Pete about what you should know when taking on the challenge.
Vanessa says when considering whether your elderly loved ones are capable of taking care of themselves, you should make sure they’re getting good nutrition, keeping themselves clean, and spending time outside of the home.
Vanessa suggests checking out their home as well. “You should take a good look at how the house is set up: loose rugs and runners and cords are easy to trip on,” she says. “Take a look in the recycling and garbage; you want to see what they’re eating.” She says you should also look at what hazards might be affecting their daily routine: do their showers have a high step to get into? Are their laundry rooms in a basement or down stairs?
If you’re considering becoming a caregiver for an aging loved one, Vanessa says it’s important not to “beat yourself up if you can’t do it all.”
“It’s important not to get burned out,” she adds. “Get yourself some help; get a part-time care giver or a part-time housekeeper.” You should make sure you have time to recharge your batteries, she says, because having time to yourself will help both you and the person you are caring for.