If you have an elderly parent who lives alone, it's important to evaluate his or her ability to live independently. If this appears to be an issue, in home care is a good idea. You don't automatically need to hire a home aide for around-the-clock care, however. If your parent may struggle at certain times but can largely handle the day-to-day aspects, some occasional help from a health worker may be warranted. There are a number of times that you may wish to seriously think about hiring an aide to lend a hand. His or her presence will help your parent, as well as take some pressure off you. Here are some times to consider.
When You're On Vacation
Some people feel that they can't take a vacation because they need to be around to help care for their elderly parent who lives independently. While your intentions in this situation might be good, it's also important to have a break from all the care you're giving — and enjoy some downtime with your immediate family. Think about taking a trip and, before you get your plans finalized, arrange to have a home health aide visit your parent. The aide can drop in for a short visit each day to help with various tasks, and you'll be able to relax knowing that your loved one is cared for.
After A Surgical Procedure
If your elderly parent has a surgical procedure coming up, he or she may need constant care upon returning home. You may not be able to provide this care, given your work and family obligations, so turn to a home health aide for assistance. This professional can spend as much time with your loved one as is needed. For example, after a knee or hip replacement, the aide may be with your parent around the clock to help with mobility, cleaning and redressing the incision, and giving medication.
During A Move
Occasionally, you'll need to move your elderly parent from his or her home into a condo or another type of downsized residence. This can be a challenging time for him or her, and there may be periods of loneliness. A home health aide can play a helpful role during this time. The aide can provide companionship while your parent gets settled in, and can also lend a hand by taking your parent out for walks and drives to get acquainted with the new community.