The conversation surrounding the need for in-home care for a family member or friend can often be a tough one to have. Most people don’t want to conclude that care is needed and many times, we are afraid to share our concerns for a loved one. There are ways that we can help and lead family and friends in the right direction – without being intrusive.
- Know the signs
When does someone need care? What if my mom isn’t sick or ill? How can I tell that she may need someone around the home? These are questions that we hear all the time. Most people don’t think to look for care until the situation takes a bad turn. Chances are, the signs were already there. Look for changes in behavior such as eating habits and sleep patterns. There are many factors than can cause these types of changes that may need to be addressed. Pay close attention to mobility. Has he or she asked you to move things from the second floor of the home to the first floor? Have you noticed an increase in trips and falls? These could be signs of decreased mobility. So, be open to anything that seems out of the ordinary and make note of these behaviors.
2. Know where to start
Once you’ve realized that a loved one is in need of home care, who do you call? There are many options for care out there– and, at times, it can seem a bit overwhelming for many families. Looking online is one way that you can begin your search but you can also try contacting local churches, community centers or even talking with a doctor for recommendations. Word-of-mouth goes a long way and allows you to get in touch with people you know and trust. You’ll want to find care that is reliable, dependable and meets your family’s needs. It’s not uncommon to call a few different agencies before making a final decision. You’ll want to talk about things such as budget, availability, and the type of care needed.
3. Find the right resources
As with the many options for care you’ll find, there are just as many resources to help get things under control. Whether it be financially, mentally or spiritually, there are people out there who can and will help! For example, learning and understanding how someone may qualify for Veterans Assistance for in-home service can be a huge help with finances. Paying for care is an added stress on families during a time when the focus should be on the person. Organizations like United Way of Will County offer many programs for all types of needs. Last, you may also want to ask any aging relatives if they’ve considered Long-Term Care insurance which can help pay for care down the road. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
4. Be supportive, be flexible, be kind
This is the most important of them all. Should home care ever become a situation that you’re faced with for someone you love, my hope is that you’ll be supportive. Help them deal with the realization that their bodies are aging and changing. Help them do everything with grace. I hope that you find yourself flexible with your time. This means being around when they need you the most-it means sacrifice. It is certainly not the easiest job but it’s truly rewarding. And finally, I hope that you’ll be kind. There will be long nights and there will be times of sadness and frustration. But remember to give love in everything that you do. Never forget to love.
As always, thank you for reading, sharing and posting! Don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions or comments.