As your parents get older, you might find that you have the option of becoming their carer. Rather than letting them go into a nursing home, you can look after them in your private property. Is this the right decision for you and them? It’s a good question and one that will require a great deal of thought and consideration. First, let’s make sure we understand that we’re not suggesting you should quit your job to do this. In that situation, you will almost always end up resenting your parent and wishing you had made a different decision. However, it’s possible that you’re either out of work or spend most of the time at home anyway. If that’s the case then what’s the harm?
Losing Your Relationship
As a carer, you will be taking more time away from your own relationships. You won’t be spending as much time with your loved one, your children or your friends. Particularly, if you’re thinking about taking on this role full time. It can lead to a rather unpleasant life where you’re not getting anything that you want. But that’s not the only issue. You will also find that your relationship with your elderly parent changes. Rather than being a parent, they become a patient. At this point, they can end up resenting you for decisions you have to make, and you can end up disliking them for being a burden. It can happen, and you have to be prepared for this shift.
At What Cost?
It can be expensive to keep an elderly parent in the home and look after them full time. You may get some help from the government, but this isn’t always the case. You need to think about what they’ll need that you’ll be asked to provide as well such as medicine. You can get cheap medicine from an aged care pharmacy, but that’s just the beginning. You might have to make significant changes to your home including new safety features. For instance, if you live in a house, you will need a stairlift, particularly if the bathroom is upstairs. This might end up costing a lot more than you would have paid to arrange nursing home care.
Don’t forget, you do have to take your role as a carer seriously. We would never suggest that you would intentionally neglect your elderly parent, but it could happen unintentionally. For instance, you might not have the proper safety procedures in place to keep them safe. If they do have an accident under your care, you can be held legally responsible. It’s worth speaking to a lawyer before you take this role on. Make sure you know when and where you can be held liable based on the care that you offer.
This life choice isn’t all doom and gloom. First of all, you’ll be keeping your elderly parent at home where they need to be. It’s fair to say that the health of people who end up in nursing homes often deteriorates incredibly quickly. You’ll also be taking the chance to give back to someone who has given you so much over the years and help them during their time of need.