Saturday, 27 June 2015

Planning for the Future with Ageing Parents

It is inevitable one day that our own parents might need a little extra help, it’s not something we particularly like to think about but it’s always at the back of our mind regardless.  My dad is now in his seventies and still very able, I would love them to continue living happily in their home for as long as possible.  My parents are fiercely independent and my mum in particular has a busy social life and enjoys fluttering around the place.

If it came down to it in the future though I hope they can come and live with us and we can give them the loving care they deserve after giving me such a decent upbringing.  We certainly have enough space to make them comfortable assuming we ever actually finish the required renovations (I think they would at the very least appreciate a ceiling in their room!).  Obviously certain modifications will be needed, as it’s a big step for everyone.  It is made easier for us as by and large I am mainly working from home so can be available to help as needed during the day.  I am fortunate I also have a brother who lives locally so he can always assist on the rare days we have plans elsewhere.

As we live in a house rather than a bungalow we would either have to allocate a room downstairs as a bedroom or add a Stannah stairlift to help with mobility issues.  I would probably choose to add the stairlift just because I know my mum considers the room downstairs to be too small for her needs!  Yes she has already tried to pick out a room ready; she seems to think she needs lots of space to continue with her crafting and jewellery making.  I am trying to re-align those expectations because having been used to living in a whole house to moving into a small section of a house (or even just a bedroom!) can be quite a shift but at the same time I do not want to give up my own larger bedroom in the process. 

My taid (granddad) lived with us shortly before he died and I loved having him around.  When he passed away it was hard to deal with but at least I managed to spend much more time with him before it happened.  My boys have a fantastic relationship with their grandparents and I know they would cope well with us all living under one roof.

Whatever we decide to do we will take it day by day, as we get older circumstances can change quickly, if we did need to have additional nursing assistance I hope we will not be afraid to ask.  It can get expensive having everyone living together with the extra food and utilities so our finances will need to be carefully looked into, especially in light of the planned modifications.  There is thankfully lots of support available out there to guide you along though, like this article on the NHS about caring for older relatives.

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