The decision to move your mom or dad into a care facility is never easy. But this decision gets especially tough when it forces your parents to live apart from one another. This situation is more common than many people realize. Spouses rarely age at the same rate, and many elderly couples are forced apart when one of them requires a high level of care due to physical or cognitive decline. Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care
Separating elderly couples can have terrible consequences. The loss of a long-term spouse is linked with mental health concerns, increased risk of poor physical health, and a lower average lifespan. While separation is sometimes impossible to stop, it is almost always better to keep elderly couples together when possible.
That’s where home care services come into play. Home care services allow many elderly couples to age in place together, even when one spouse develops serious physical or cognitive health concerns. Certain home care providers can even keep elderly couples together when both spouses require different types of care services.
But keeping elderly couples together with home care services isn’t always simple or easy. Sometimes, it requires detailed planning in advance. It could also mean being more selective when choosing a care agency for your parents. Additionally, you may need to start home care services early in order to keep mom and dad together for as long as possible.
While that can be tricky, it’s not impossible. So, if you’re concerned about how you’ll help your parents age in place together, here are some of the things you’ll need to think about.
The earlier you begin planning for home care, the easier it will be to keep your parents together and allow them to age in place. Many families avoid discussing care until the last minute, leaving them with few options for care and even less time to choose. By planning for care in advance, you can get ahead of worst-case scenarios and extend the time your parents spend in one another’s company.
One of the smartest steps you can take is to get started with home care early. Most people assume that caregivers help seniors age in place only by helping out after physical or cognitive decline has taken place. This isn’t true. In fact, caregivers can help stave off decline before it occurs. By providing in-home assistance, home care can delay the difficulties that lead seniors to nursing care in the first place.
Many people worry about the costs of professional home care. But care costs are substantially lower early on. Instead of waiting for your mom or dad to become overwhelmed caring for their spouse, you can hire a caregiver for a few hours a week. The caregiver can handle the toughest aspects of care, while your other parent can perform the care tasks that are easier to handle. This way, you keep care costs low, maintain quality of life for one parent, and prevent your other parent from becoming overwhelmed.
Even if you don’t get started with home care immediately, planning ahead offers other benefits. You’ll be able to plan ahead financially, giving you a better sense of what will be best and most realistic. You’ll also get the chance to research local home care providers, so that you have a better idea of your parents’ options for care.
Another reason home care services are popular with elderly couples is flexibility and customization. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities typically focus on a certain level of care, or offer a limited number of specialty services. If both of your parents require senior care, but each parent has unique care concerns, they may struggle to find a care facility that can meet both of their needs.
On the other hand, many home care agencies are experienced in providing care for couples — even if spouses have different care needs. Many agencies offer a range of specialty care services, with flexible scheduling and service plans. So, if one of your parents requires personal care due to limited mobility, and the other needs home dementia care for Alzheimer’s, a high-quality home care agency can accommodate both parents’ care needs.
Similarly, a caregiver who you originally hired to care for one parent could eventually care for both your mom and your dad. While many elderly adults are hesitant to request home care services, it is easier for them to get started with care when a professional caregiver is already in their home. An experienced caregiver can also spot signs of decline. So even if your mom or dad believes themselves to be in good health, you’ll have someone there to let you know when they need help.
Wondering where you’ll find high-quality home care services suitable for your mom and dad? We suggest starting your search with your local Visiting Angels. Our home care providers frequently work with couples, helping families keep mom and dad together in the home they love. Call 800-365-4189 today or contact your local Visiting Angels office to learn more.
Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care Keeping Elderly Couples Together with Home Care
Visiting Angels is a national, private duty network of senior care agencies. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of non-medical at home care services. With our elder care services, seniors can remain independent and live safely at home. Our senior care services include Social Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, End of Life Care, Companion Care, Private Duty Care, care to prevent hospital readmission, and so much more.
Compassionate, dignified at home senior care is close to home when you connect with your local Visiting Angels office by calling 800-365-4189.View All Articles