One of the hardest things you will have to deal with in life is seeing the strongest member of your family age. Over time, they'll lose the ability to do things the way they used to, and when things just get to be too hard for them, a decision has to be made on whether a home caregiver for a senior should be brought in to give a helping hand.
The entire situation can be a minefield for a family because they know it feels though they're giving up on their loved one. Even more devastating is that the elder family member in question can pick up on the idea that they aren't what they used to be & now require assistance. This could either lead to them feeling sad about their lost faculties or even angry that their family has chosen to bring in a stranger to embarrass them at every turn. There are no winners in this situation. So, what is a family to do?
Well, for starters, it's important for a family to get together and talk things out. Be sure to include the senior family member who needs the assistance because their opinion is still very important to have. When you're all together, take turns talking about how things have been changing. Don't be afraid to mention incidents you've noticed that concerned you regarding your older relative. Make sure your discussions are organized and remain on topic. The last thing you want to do is introduce confusion.
Next, discuss what options there are for family members chipping in and being the home healthcare "Dream Team" by doing it all yourselves without outside assistance. Look over each other's work schedules, highlight times when you can shift other appointments and commitments, and decide how each family member's free-time can be utilized by taking on another "shift" to help. Ask your elder family member if there is more than just healthcare to worry about. This can include trips to the grocery store, running to the post office, and if they have pets, making sure all appointments are being kept with the vet. Be sure to figure out who will drive all parties to church.
It never hurts to start thinking about the cars you drive and how well-equipped they are in case you need to transport your family member. Trucks can be a little too high, where as two-door cars make getting in and out really tough to do. It's possible that you may have to do some sort of ride-share co-opting of certain cars, but if it's doable, then make it happen.
Finally, as you're having your conversation about hiring a home caregiver for your senior family member, silently look at each other and ask yourselves how long you think you'll be able to keep up this kind of lifestyle. No one wants to say it, and no one wants to think it, but you know the answer. How do you determine if a home caregiver is right for your family's situation? You'll know when the time is right.