I have had a frustrated client in Texas tell me once “Dad says the only way that he is leaving his house is feet first”. Then we both let out a short laugh, but it’s not really funny, it’s scary. What do you do when it’s apparent that it is not safe for a parent to live alone in their own home…but they refuse to leave?
Your options are limited, but you do have options. First, you may want to call a care manager and see what they can suggest. They specialize in assessing situations like yours, and will know the local senior-care resources that may be available to assist you.
Some may ask whether a family member move in with them? A sibling of yours or a even a grown grandchild? Free rent and housing, and all they have to do is keep an eye on Dad and make sure that he is; not doing anything to risky, eating right, taking his medications as prescribed and not behaving any crazier than normal. Not always the ideal solution, but many families solve the problem this way.
If your family can’t help, a home-care company may be able too. There are two types of services that home-care offer. One is live-out hourly care, where a caregiver comes to your parents home for a visit to check up on them and help them around the house. This is great if they only need part-time help during a specific time of day. The national average for a home-care agency was $22 hr in 2018. Many agencies can schedule visits for as short as 2-4 hrs to help out with high fall risk activities like bathing or doing house-chores.
The second type of home-care is live-in care. This type is usually best for clients who need intermittent help throughout the day. Common examples would be memory-care or help with transfers. They can help out daily as needed, and sleep in the house each night “just in case” an emergency happens, or needs help to the bathroom at 2am. Most live-ins will allow for the family to even put a baby monitor in their bedroom, and all Dad needs to do is call out in the middle of the night, and the live-in caregiver will come help them safely walk to the bathroom or transfer them to the bedside commode.
Now that’s not to say that Dad will be overjoyed that “some stranger” is going to move in with them, but we find that after the initial shock, they may stop protesting and become grateful for the help. Who wants to be doing their own laundry and house-chores at 85 years old anyway?
What about the “feet first” client in Texas?…. he and his wife were able to stay home with a live-in caregiver from Grandma Joan. 🙂