Prep Your Home for Home Care with Your Elderly Parent

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So you’ve weighed your home care options, chosen an agency or independent CNA, and gone through the interview process. You’re home free right?

Wrong.

It's hard to trust a virtual stranger in your home to take care of your elderly parent. This article goes through the steps you need to take to prepare your home so you can leave without worrying. #caregiving #homecare #elderlyparent #sandwichgeneration #prepping

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There’s still much to be done. A vital part of having a hired person come into your home and caring for your elderly parent is prepping your home.

Why You Need to Prepare Your Home for Home Care

You might be asking why you even need to prep your home for home care. After all, you are able to function and care for your elderly parent just fine in the space.

There is a vast difference in being a caregiver for your elderly parent and hiring home care for them.

  1. You’re inviting a virtual stranger into your most personal space to care for a loved one in your absence.
  2. Having someone other than you in the home, doing what you normally do can be confusing to your elderly parent. A little home prep gives the worker confidence and helps your parent feel more at ease.
  3. A more confident caregiver equals better care for your elderly parent.
  4. You will feel more at ease leaving your elderly parent knowing you have done everything you can to optimize their care and well-being.
  5. A little prep work goes a long way to giving you peace of mind allowing you to take a well-deserved break.

Related Post: Hiring Home Care for Your Elderly Parent

Prep Your Home for Home Care With Your Elderly Parent

When prepping your home, you have two main concerns:

  1. The safety and well-being of your elderly parent
  2. Your privacy and personal security

Keep in mind you are letting this person take on a sacred responsibility; the care of your elderly parent in your home. While a certain amount of trust is required, prepping your home will go a long way in securing that trust

Security Cameras

I cannot stress the importance of having a system of security cameras set up in your home. These don’t have to be “nanny cams” nor do you have to keep their presence a secret.

I would encourage you to let your potential hires know in the interview process that you have security cameras to monitor your elderly parent. Your hired aide will be protected from any unfounded accusations and you can be assured of optimal care from your new provider with the added accountability of a camera.

Qualifications for Security Cameras

  • Wifi and mobile capabilities: This way you can check in frequently while you’re away, especially in the beginning.
  • Two-way audio transmission: You hear what’s going on and can communicate from afar.
  • Night vision: This allows you to keep an eye on your elderly parent during the night, making the camera useful even when you’re home. Having this function is particularly helpful for “wandering” parents (like my MIL).

Related Post: How to Prepare for a Medical Emergency with An Elderly Parent

Care Centers

These care centers can be a shelf, a storage box, a drawer, any place that is convenient for anyone to utilize. They should include everything a caregiver for your elderly parent would use on a daily basis.

I have two drawers prepped for our hired caregiver. The first drawer is in the kitchen. It includes:

  • medication (prescription and allowable over-the-counter) plus instructions
  • blood pressure monitor
  • blood sugar testing kit
  • disposable gloves
  • meal instructions and reminders

The second care center is in my MIL’s bathroom. In that drawer I include:

  • bathing supplies (soap, shampoo, washcloths)
  • hygiene supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shave cream, creams and ointments, baby wipes, nail clippers and file)
  • beauty supplies (hairbrush, lotions, deodorant, face cream)
  • disposable gloves
  • instructions for how to use the shower, bidet, and my MIL’s preferred hygiene routine

Meal Prep

If I know I’m going to be gone during a meal (or meals), I’ll prepare it ahead of time. I make sure it is clearly labeled with the intended meal time or snack time along with any additional prep instructions.

This serves several helpful purposes:

  1. Your parent may or may not be honest about (or even remember) their dietary restrictions. Having the meals prepped leaves no room for discussion.
  2. If you’re a meal planner on a budget like me, everything in your refrigerator and pantry has a purpose. Prepping your meals ahead of time will help avoid tonight’s dinner ingredients being eaten for lunch.
  3. Hired caregivers do not have the same “clout” you do as a family caregiver. They cannot insist but only strongly suggest on adherence to the diet. Preparing your parent’s meals and snacks will allow them to say, “That’s all -insert your name here- prepared,” keeping your elderly parent from insisting on more or dietarily inappropriate foods.

Daily Reminder Sheet

The final bit of prep work I do is create a general reminder sheet. This has instructions about:

  • daily activities and routines
  • reminders about where everything is located (which care center)
  • contact information for our care team
  • any instructions for that particular day

This sheet is laminated and a copy kept in both my care centers as well as our care binder. Laminating it allows me to write that day’s particular instructions without having to print out a new sheet every day.

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    Letting a virtual stranger come into your home and take care of your elderly parent is a daunting and terrifying prospect. By taking these steps to prepare your home, you will be that much further to finding peace of mind in hiring home care for your elderly parent.

    Don’t miss the other posts in the Hiring Home Care for Your Elderly Parents Series.

    Did you like this post? Have you prepped your home for your hired care or is there anything you would add? Let me know in the comments below.

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    Leaving your elderly parent with a stranger can be scary but with these very simple prep tasks, you can leave your elderly parent at home worry free. #caregiving #homecare #elderlyparent #sandwichgeneration #prepping

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