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Help at home – Is in-home care right for my parents?

In-home care can help your parents stay in their home for longer through providing services in and around the house. Maintenance, cooking, or cleaning? Our Home Care Packages have got you covered.

Do you have rising concerns about your parents’ capabilities as they get older? You’re not alone. Old age makes no exceptions, and as your parents have always been there for you, now it’s time to give them a helping hand. For those times when you can’t be there, in-home care can. However, working out how and where you can access support can be challenging. As children, we want to know our parents are getting the help they need to live happily and independently in their own home. But how do you know if they need help in the first place?

Tips to assess your parents’ capabilities

Next time you’re visiting, make sure you look around and check that things are in order. Often the smallest signs can help you figure out whether your parents need help. Try these ideas to look for clues in a non-invasive way:

Start a discussion:

Ask what they’ve been up to, when they last went shopping, or how long ago they visited their doctor. Ask about friends and social clubs, or just their daily schedule. Make it a pleasant conversation – don’t overwhelm them with interrogation-style questions. Would you enjoy being asked how often you clean?

Check the fridge and cupboards:

Is there plenty of food at home? Take the time to look if any of the items, including medication, have expired. Check that all appliances and smoke alarms are in order and working.

Look around the living areas:

Do the rooms look overly cluttered? Are there cobwebs, spills or other signs that the home isn’t up to its usual standard? If not, perhaps ask in a friendly manner if they need help with cleaning up.

Check on the pets:

Are they looking happy and healthy, do they have fresh food and water?

Take a walk through the garden:

Check to see whether the flowerbeds are well-kept or overgrown. Pay attention to spots that might need attention, like the gutter.

Give them a hug:

When you do, do you notice any obvious weight loss or gain, increased frailty or body odour?

Do your parents need care?

If any of these areas cause concern, it may be time to take the next step in the aged care journey.

Consider your own capacity as a carer. If you live interstate or even overseas, you may not get to visit as often as you’d like. Make some time to discuss your concerns with your parents, keeping in mind it is not always a simple task to admit when it’s time for extra help. One of the scariest things to confront is the feeling of losing control. This next stage in life can be challenging for both children and parents alike. Make sure your parents know that there are plenty of in-home care options. These will allow them to remain at home, continuing to enjoy their current lifestyle.

A little extra support could be all that your parents need to feel more confident and independent in their own home – and it can offer a peace of mind to you.

What does in-home care include?

Home Care Packages (HCP) are available in a variety of support levels and can be tailored to suit any stage of life. Support levels can range from vacuuming and mopping the floors, serious home maintenance and gardening, to nursing. You can find out more about the services we provide by clicking here .

Besides physical services, Home Care Packages can also include social support. This not only helps with the fun stuff like social outings, scrabble, or mah-jong, but it also includes practical assistance, for example transport to medical appointments, running errands and even visiting the hairdresser! We can even help your parents stay connected with the community – our Virtual Senior Centre offers a range of opportunities for your parents to participate in, all online and from the comfort of their home. These include book clubs, special interest groups, seated exercise routines, art and craft workshops, and other activities that challenge and stimulate older minds.

Once you have decided that your parents need in-home care, there are still some steps to take. The government’s assessment process for in-home care can often be lengthy. We urge you to start planning now. If you are just beginning the process, privately funded care can be a great way to get support while you wait. Or, perhaps you don’t meet the eligibility requirements or would prefer not to get assessed. To find out more about private services or to get started on the HCP journey, download our Aged Care Guide today. 

Want to find out more about in-home care?

Read our article: ‘How in-home care can help seniors maintain independence’.

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