Choosing how to help your loved ones as they get older is a hard choice. Most people feel guilty not being able to help themselves, but there can be many reasons that they’re simply unable to. Distance is the most commonly cited reason – it’s also a widely accepted fact that today’s adult children of parents who need caretaking are a part of what’s known as “the sandwich generation”. This means that they’re quite literally sandwiched between two generations who need taking care of – the younger children who still need driving to school, homework help and support – and their parents, who might need driving around, grocery shopping and check-ins just as often. This is a hard place to be – you’re literally being torn in two directions at once. Even if you do not have young children to take care of, taking care of an elder parent is a full-time job.
In cooperation with experts from HomeTouch, we have put together a list of why a live-in care option might be your best bet. It may be temporary, and it’s only one of the many good care options out there. But if you do your research right and aim to keep your parents in their own house for as long as possible (this might have better long-term effects on their mental wellbeing), you have to take everything into account. What are the best reasons for trying live-in care for your parents with dementia?
You Can Focus on Your Other Family Members
As a member of the sandwich generation, you know how hard it is to take care of everyone. You can’t really neglect your kids or your parents, it’s a catch-22. But with a live-in caregiver, you don’t have to worry about that. You have a dedicated individual who will be able to focus on your parents fully, and you can spend more time with your kids. You can even enjoy some time by yourself, which is probably what your parents would want most for you.
You Can Focus on Other Things
You may be feeling like you have too much on your plate – and that’s okay. Everyone gets stressed sometimes. If you’ve hired a live-in caregiver for your parents, you can focus on what makes you happy. If it’s spending time with your kids, do that all you want! If it’s caring for your parents the way you want to, do that! The caregiver is there to take care of the burden that’s too much for you, and it’s not just taking care of your parents – it’s taking care of you, too.
You Can Save Money
Similar to focusing on your other family members, you won’t need to spend as much on other care options for your parents. Even if they do require things like regular doctor visits and therapy sessions to make sure they stay mentally fit, the caregiver will take them there. It may be a cost to hire the caregiver, but it will be worth the extra money when you think of how much it might cost if your parents were in a full care facility.
You Can Do Other Things Around the House
This is something that isn’t often mentioned but is just as important as any of the others: you can clean up around the house! If an elderly parent needs some regular chores done every day or week – like laundry, home maintenance or gardening – a live-in caregiver can help with that! It gives you time to actually clean the house and tackles all of that extra stuff that you don’t have time for!
You Can Enjoy Every Day
If you’re putting your parents into a care facility, it may seem like you’re never going to see them again. That’s not true – but it might hurt like it is, especially if you’re already feeling like you’re not spending enough time with them. If you hire a live-in caregiver for your parents, you can keep an eye on them and enjoy every day with them. It’s almost like hiring a family member, which is a great idea if your own family is spread out across the country! Your loved one will have that extra care, and you’ll have that time back that makes being part of the sandwich generation so difficult.
The Bottom Line
There are no easy answers to the questions that arise when it comes to caring for your elderly parents. On the one hand, moving them into a care facility may seem like the best course of action, but on the other, it might make them feel pushed aside. However, moving them in with you and caring for them while you have your kids, work, and all sorts of other things to be responsible for is also an impossible task. This is why live-in caregivers are the perfect middle ground — allowing you to avoid expensive care facilities without sacrificing your own independence!