When is Home Care Not Enough?
Keeping your loved one in their own home is probably the ideal situation if your spouse or parent needs a certain level of care. People with varying degrees of disability can be supported by their family members and home care packages to remain at home, but sometimes this becomes increasingly difficult or impracticable. If you are finding caring for a loved one at home a problem, you may wish to explore other options such as respite care or admission to a residential care home.
How to Broach the Subject
Discussing care concerns can be a very sensitive issue and may be upsetting to the person whose care you are responsible for. Talking about future care needs in a general way can be easier when there is no immediate need for change, so it is a good idea to have the discussion at an early stage if possible.
You are in the best position to understand your loved one’s care needs and wishes, and even if you really want to keep them at home, there may come a time when you are simply unable to carry on or provide the appropriate level of care. If their care needs are increasing and life at home is becoming more difficult, you could ask what they think is happening or whether they feel any changes need to be made. This gives them the opportunity to express their concerns, and you may even find that they introduce the subject of moving to a care home themselves.
Coming to a Decision
Conversations about changing circumstances can sometimes take quite a long time, and it can help if you are able to allow the process to unfold gradually rather than expecting to decide upon all the details at once. Discussing different care options and understanding the other person’s point of view are vital in decision-making. Asking your loved one what preferences they have and sharing information will make the process easier.
Practical aspects of a change from home care also have to be addressed, and you will need to glean some specific information about legal and financial matters if you do not already know how things stand.
You will need to find out whether your loved one has a lasting power of attorney, and if not, probably arrange for one to be set up. This would give you or someone else your loved one trusts the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf if they become unable to make their own decisions or prefer not to.
The financial implications of moving into a care home also need to be clarified. Find out whether your loved one would be eligible for any help with the fees or whether they have sufficient savings.
It is quite important for some people to stay with their own GP, but this will only be possible if the home that you choose is in the same area. Staying close to home also makes visiting and remaining in contact with friends and family easier.
Try to make time for care discussions at an early stage so that all the details can be fully understood and the move, when it comes, is more likely to be happy and successful.