When your loved one is near the end of their life, your goal is to make them as comfortable as possible. As the child of an elderly parent, you want to meet their medical needs while keeping their quality of life intact. You want your time with them to be about love, memories, home, and sweet sentiments-not medical problems. In a heartbreaking situation, you have options to keep your parent comfortable and safe.
Care for Them Yourself
Sometimes it’s best for parents to be cared for by their own children at the end of their lives. Caring for your parent in your home can foster sweet bonding in a way that no other service can. Although it is a full-time job, it’s a rewarding one that can keep your parent at peace longer. If your loved one has trouble with change or simply wants to be near family, home care is a great choice.
When caring for your parent at home, work with a doctor to manage medications and diet. Buy helpful tools like a shower stool, a stair lift, and a weekly medicine planner.
However, if mom or dad has needs beyond what you can give, it’s not careless to choose another living situation for them. When living with you becomes harmful to your or their health, it’s time to bring in help. For example, if you can no longer lift them to change sheets or bathe them, it’s best to consider other avenues.
Transition to a Nursing Home
When your parent’s medical conditions are manageable but too much for home care, it may be time for them to move to a nursing home. You can feel at peace knowing they’re well taken care of by trained professionals. Find the nearest nursing home to your house and visit anytime you can; no need to worry about medicine dosage or proper nutrition.
Moving to a nursing home is a helpful option if mom or dad has a steadily worsening condition like Alzheimer’s or short term memory loss. They can be watched 24/7, interact with other patients, and have all their needs taken care of.
Get the Best of Both Worlds with Hospice and Palliative Care
Sometimes moving to a nursing home is too big of a change for older patients. When your parent requires the comforts of their longtime home at the end of their life, consider hospice care. Your parent will feel at ease in their own home and still receive quality medical care from in-home staff. Most hospice services strive to help patients in every aspect of the end-of-life process. They consider physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Your parent will have access to the following professionals, all with 24-hour on call support:
Bereavement counselor (for patients and family members)
Whichever care option you choose, you can feel at peace knowing you’re doing what’s best for your parent.