Friday, 19 August 2016

Living with Family

While it is no longer the 'norm' for children to move their elderly loved ones into there homes for a host of reasons, there are still times when families do consider this as an option when living alone is no longer possible. It is wonderful to have a family that is willing to consider this however, there are a host of factors that need to be taken into account and addressed before finalizing any plans in order to ensure the best possible outcome. It's important to keep in mind the relationship one had and continues to have with the person, any unresolved issues, care needs, home accessibility and a host of other things. Consideration needs to be given to how how a move such as this will impact the senior, family members living in the home, yourself and any extended family.  

Questions to consider include: How will the senior cope living with others especially if there are children in the home with various schedules, activity and needs? Will living in your home impact their privacy and independence? Are you close to their current social network so they can still visit with friends? How demanding is the senior? Will other family members be required to provide care? How will moving the senior into your home impact your job and/or your relationship with your spouse/children? Are there services in your community that can assist with any care if it is required now or in the future? Can you afford the extra person? Will they contribute money? If they do, will this create problems with other family members?

Inter-generational families living under one roof can be extremely rewarding for all family members involved however, for some families adding additional people to your nuclear family can be stressful and can create problems. For those struggling with a decision such as this, do keep in mind that caregiving can be difficult for even the most cohesive of families and if for whatever reason it is not feasible to move your elderly relative into your home, it's important to recognize that sometimes the best decision for all involved might be to let others provide care - even if it means relocating the person to a seniors home of some sort. It cannot and should not be viewed as any sort of failure or as a reflection of how one feels about the person. Sometimes, it is clearly the best move for everyone.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Knowing when its time

People often ask me how they will know when it's time to start thinking about relocation. How do you know when it's time to downsize or consider a retirement home? For some, it's an easy decision and one based on health, lifestyle or even financial issues. For others, it is less clear. To this end, you might want to consider the following sorts of things:
1. Are there stairs in your house and if so, are you having difficulty with them?
2. Do you need help with household tasks, maintenance issues, cooking, shopping or any personal care?
3. Are there people that can help you with things you cannot do for yourself?
4. If you do not have people who can help, would you be willing to hire someone?
5. How do you get around and is this starting to be difficult for you? (driving, public transit, taxi)
6. Are you close to important amenities (doctor, dentist, store etc.)? 
7. Do you use any assistive devices?
8. Do you have safety or health concerns?
9. Do you feel isolated?
10. Do you get out regularly or are you in your home all the time?
11. Do you have a support network of friends and family nearby?
12. Has your family indicated any concerns about your living situation?

These questions can serve as a guide to help you determine if it's time to downsize or obtain support in the home you are currently in. While a few minor issues may not be problematic, some larger ones may suggest a need to begin considering resources and perhaps researching options to downsize with or without care services. it is far better to do your research and start discussing options with your family before you actually need the help and most certainly before crisis hits and available options become limited.