Family Dynamics. Many people, as they begin to realize that they're getting older and less healthy, have a bit of an unrealistic view of their future. They imagine that at some point they'll be able to decide that they're done and that it's time to wander off into the woods and disappear forever. That's not particularly realistic; most people never reach the point where they're comfortable simply 'disappearing'. That's the time when you have to think about having senior care.
One common rosy picture of their long-term future is that they will be able to live with their families and then have their children take care of them. This is a very enticing dream, but remember that it is important to be aware that giving 24-hour care for another person is, well – a 24 hour job. Your children may be able to take care of you if they are old enough to be retired. But if they have kids, a job, or any other important obligations in they own lives, then they are not going to be able to do the job on their own.
Even if they aren't busy with their own lives, and they can devote actual attention to you, you have to recognize what '24 hour care 'actually consists of. They have to go to sleep after you do, wake up whenever you wake up in the middle of the night, get to sleep after you fall asleep in the middle of the night, and then wake up before you do. Just sheer lack of sleep can leave a 24-hour caretaker exhausted, unable to focus, and extremely irritable.
Then, there's your attitude. You may feel mostly okay right now, but what happens if you get hurt or sick? Or worse yet, if you're in near-constant pain for weeks at a time? If you get frustrated because you can't remember where you left your favorite book or your sunglasses? When you're not feeling well, you don't have anyone to take it out on except the people in your immediate vicinity. It is one thing if that person is a worker who is getting paid to deal with you – but when it's a family member, they're going to walk away hurt and end up nursing a grudge.
And that's just the emotional side of the dilemma.
When you make the decision to leave your child in the position to provide you 24 hour care should you come to need it, you're putting a lot of trust and power in your child's hands. Here's just a partial list of everything they're going to need to do before they can take on that responsibility:
Master Your Information
Your family have to know everything below before they take on your health care for you:
-Your primacy care physician
-The name of your dentist
-All of the Answers that you are currently seeing
-Information of your health insurance
List of medicines you're taking, including:
Dosages Timing Contraindications Significant side effects to be aware of
List of recent medical procedures, including:
Hospitalizations Test results, like X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and blood work
-Vital information (height, weight, etc.)
All of these stuffs are just a part and parcel of being able to take you to a doctor and for them to communicate effectively about your health.
Memorize Your Needs
As a person who is quite likely to need 24 hour care in the future, and you want your child to take care of you, then you have to be ready to have them do tasks that are very personal for you. That includes tasks like helping you clean up after you use the bathroom as well as helping you clean yourself in the bath or shower. Make sure that they also need to be strong enough to be able to help in and out of chairs, the bed, and of course the toilet. They also need to be attentive enough to feed you and help you take your medications that will keep you healthy. They need to be attentive enough to check up on you on a regular basis in case you fall and hurt yourself, otherwise you can become incapacitated.
All things considered, it's probably a much better idea in the long run to hire someone to provide senior care for at least half of each day, so that your family has the ability to have lives of their own – and get plenty of sleep.