We all grow older as time goes by. For grown children, it's sometimes hard to accept that our parents are now old - the same parents who took care of us when we were little kids and who seemed so strong and vibrant back then. Now they are the ones who need taking care of, and though we might be very willing to take care of them ourselves, we have our own kids to take care of, our own affairs to handle, or maybe we live too far away from them. The next best thing we could do is to find suitable help for our elderly parents.
- The first thing to do is talk to your elderly parent. Explain to him or her why you are looking for someone to help out. He might become sensitive, as most old people do not want to admit that they need help, so be very careful in explaining things. Assure him that you are NOT abandoning him, and that you will still be dropping by once in a while.
- Next, decide on what kind of help you need to get. If your parent is still strong enough to live on his own, then maybe a visiting helper or caregiver will suffice - someone who can do his laundry, buy his groceries, assist him when he takes his baths, and cook his meals. If your parent cannot be left alone anymore, then you'd better find someone who is willing to stay in the same house and take care of him day in and day out.
- How do you find this person? Ask your friends who have elderly parents of their own. Inquire if they know anyone who does this kind of work for elderly people. That person may not be available, but perhaps she knows others who can provide the services you are looking for.
- You can also place an advertisement in the local paper. Make it clear in the ad what you're looking for, to avoid useless interviews and phone calls with people who are not qualified. If this does not produce results, you can consider going to manpower agencies. They might have caregivers whom you can hire.
- Once the applicants come in, talk to each one of them thoroughly. Inform them of all their expected duties, and ask if they've had previous experience with elderly people before. If your parent is willing, he can join the interviews. Afterwards, when all the interviews are done, you can evaluate the applicants one by one and ask your parent if he prefers anyone among them. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even conduct background checks on the applicants.
- After you've selected the caregiver, spend some time with her and your elderly parent, so you can observe if they get along well, and to see if the caregiver is able to comply with your parent's demands. They must be comfortable with each other. Most of all, your parent should be satisfied with the caregiver.
- If you don't think leaving your parent in his house with a caregiver is such a good idea, then you can consider letting him join a facility for the aged, where he'll be around people his age and where many caregivers can watch out for him. Again, make sure that your parent is amenable to this, so he won't end up being unhappy. Some people prefer to grow old in their own homes.
Make the best choice for your elderly parent. It's time to give thanks for all that he unselfishly gave you when he was the one taking care of you.