Managing the “Costs” of Senior Parent Home Care in MN

Today, we have more seniors in our Minnesota communities than at any time in history. As a result, a much higher percentage of adult children of seniors than ever before are managing their parents’ personal care and home care. Often the senior parent has a passionate wish to remain in their own home, rather than move to senior housing. Typically, one or more adult children of the senior must act as caregivers to provide the companion services and assistance the senior needs to live as independently as possible.
What Are the Costs of At Home Senior Care?
The “costs” of at home care for elderly parents include not only financial expenditures, but many other costs for care giving adult children. These costs include:
• Fears and worries, especially when providing in home dementia care. Minneapolis home care givers report that dementia care can be incredibly stressful, especially when the senior does not have round the clock supervision. Concerns for children of parents providing Alzheimer’s care include falls, injuries, and an inability to call for help when needed. While seniors with mild Azheimer’s may be able to remain at home, the fear that the status could change or worsen at any time is very real.
• Time demands, which increase with a change in health status due to illness or declining health. Often the caregivers work full time and must manage fluctuating schedules, doctor’s visits, and other senior care needs in addition to a full time job. And when these caregivers also have young children of their own, the demands on their time can be especially stressful. Research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care® network revealed that in 43% of families, one sibling shoulders the primary responsibility for the senior parent’s care.
• Strained family relationships, which may suffer under the burden of adult senior care. Family conflicts may arise if some siblings are unwilling or unable to assist in providing senior care. Minnesota adult children of seniors often have siblings residing in other states, meaning they must shoulder the daily challenges involved in caring for the senior. According to research conducted for Home Instead Senior Care, in 46% of situations where relationships between siblings have deteriorated, the responsible caregivers report that their sisters and brothers are not willing to help provide care to their parents.
• Inheritance, which may be tapped to help cover the costs of respite care for the Minnesota based siblings who are managing the senior’s care. This may be the case when the senior’s needs become unmanageable, and it becomes imperative to hire an aide or attendant, if financial resources have not been established to manage long term care. For example, trained assistants may be required for seniors needing Parkinson’s care, Alzheimer’s home care, or round-the-clock care due to an inability to manage toileting and other personal care needs.
How to Cope with the Costs of In Home Care
How do adult siblings cope with these “costs” of at home senior care? If you find yourself in the situations described above, you may want to review the following resources to help manage the challenges and emotional turbulence you and your family may be experiencing.
1. Visit www.caregiverstress.com to find caregiver advice, tips and resources.
2. Download the brochure describing the 50/50 RuleSM available at www.solvingfamilyconflict.com. This 50/50 RuleSM is a public education program that was developed by Home Instead Senior Care to help caregivers cope with the challenges and stresses of caring for senior parents.
3. Consider bringing in respite care to help manage the senior’s personal care needs. If you are responsible for your elderly parent’s care, it’s important to take care of yourself as well to ensure you can last the distance! Many resources are available and can be found by internet searches on terms such as “home care Plymouth MN” and “in home care Minneapolis.” Or contact Home Instead Senior Care of Minnesota to obtain the senior care services you need, and get peace of mind.
Managing the needs of a senior can be a truly joyful and rewarding experience when you have the assistance and support you need.

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