Having your elderly parent fit into your home schedule will be challenging as you are helping children with homework and other activities that a busy family has. You want your parent to be happy where they are, but sometimes you cannot please everyone. The house can be noisy with children in it. They will not always talk or play quietly and this can upset a senior. The TV can also be a factor in arguments over who watches what and when. Hopefully, you will get into a pattern of cooperation and peace in the home as you figure out the family dynamics.
The most important consideration of having an elderly parent staying with you is, of course, their health. You want to make sure that they are taking all of their medications correctly to keep them healthy while they are with you. You could help them with their medications by having each day’s medicines put in a daily pill box. This way, you will know if they have taken the proper dosage each day.
It is a good idea to learn How to Take Vital Signs. This procedure would come in handy as it will save you from having to run to a doctor’s office or clinic every time you need to check their blood pressure, pulse, or temperature. Knowing how to do this can be beneficial, not only for the elderly, but for the rest of your family as well. Taking blood pressure is something you could use again and again as you could possibly help other people out with their blood pressure needs.
Hopefully, mealtime will be easy for you. The elderly parent can eat whatever you fix for your family. You could throw in a few of the senior’s favorite foods or meals here and there, also. Maybe once in a while, your elderly parent could take you and your family out for a nice meal to give you a break. This is always a nice treat if it can be done.
Trying to make sure your elderly parent is having their social needs met might be a bit difficult, as many elders have friends who have passed away. That does not leave a lot of people that they can associate with. Find a senior center close to where you live and see if there is transportation to get there and back home. They could meet new friends and discuss the events of their day. At home, teach your children to interact with their grandparent. Talk to the children about playing games with them, reading stories with them, or just asking them questions to see what life was like when they were young.
You might have to look into getting help to have your parent bathed. There are home services that can come in and take care of these basic needs. They can help them shower or bathe, help get them dressed, and do their hair. If you cannot afford to have help come in, then just make sure you have safety items in place as they shower, such as a shower or bath bar to hold onto or a chair to sit on in the shower.
Other safety items would include having a handrail if they have to go up or down the stairs. The ideal would be to have them on one floor where they do not have to use the stairs at all. Remember to watch for loose rugs that could trip them. Keep the floor free of obstacles that could make them fall. Make sure to keep steps and walkways outside clear of ice and snow so they will not slip and fall when leaving the house.
Taking care of someone else is hard work, but if everyone works together it can be done without too much problem. Don’t beat yourself up if you have days where you feel overwhelmed by all that is required of you. Have patience and know that you are doing the best that you can.