Your mom raised and took care of you as you grew up. She kept you safe, healthy and most of all, loved. As you became an adult and your mom got older, you might have promised her that when the time comes, you’ll take care of her if she needs it. And now is the time when she’s needing some daily assistance. While there are many options for helping your elderly parent out such as hiring someone to provide companion care at home services or moving her into an assisted living facility, you may be like many Americans and have decided your mom is going to live with you.
This is a wonderful choice that will enrich both of your lives (and those lives of whoever else lives with you such as a spouse or children), but it also requires some planning and realism on your part and your parent’s part.
So that you can continue to provide a safe living environment for your mom as she ages, here are four discussions you need to have with everyone who will be living under the same roof.
How much of a financial commitment will it entail? This is one of the largest questions that needs to be discussed and answered before your loved one moves in. Does she have income that can help defray costs? Do you have areas in your life where you can reduce expenditures to defray the cost? You’ll also want to research how you can reduce caregiving costs by using local programs, grants, and assistance. Money can be hard to talk about it, but having that conversation right away can reduce stress later.
Who will help with what? Depending on how much care your loved one needs, you might not be able to do it all yourself (and you shouldn’t). Talk to family members, friends, and even companion care at home agencies to see who can help with caring for your mom.
How much care is needed? Now is a good time to visit your mom’s doctor with her. Find out what needs she has and what to expect, especially if she has a chronic disease. Knowing what she needs now and what she may need in five years will help you plan for requesting extra help when the time comes.
How much can you do? Now is the time to be realistic about how much you can do before it affects your mental and/or physical health. If your health starts to fail as you care for your elderly loved one, the care of your mom will also suffer. Be willing to have someone from companion care at home agency come into your home to help care for your loved one when you need respite or have other pressing responsibilities. A companion care at home provider can help with meals, companionship, medication management, and other responsibilities so you can step away as needed.
Having these discussions now will help you keep your aging mother (or any loved one) at home for as long as possible by reducing the caregiving workload and decreasing stress.