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When your caring role changes
10 October 2019
What should you do when it is no longer possible for you to give your ageing loved one the care they need?
You might not think of yourself as a carer. In truth many carers see themselves as a family member who looks after a person they love, not as a carer. Regardless, caring for an ageing loved one can be extremely challenging, both emotionally and physically.
There will be times during your role as a carer when you will need to reassess your care role. This could be a temporary situation – you might have to go away or your work situation might change. Or it might mean a longer-term change. Perhaps the circumstances of the person you are caring for changes. Their condition may deteriorate and they may require more support than you have the time or energy to give.
What are your care options?
In the case of increasing care needs, as a first step, you might consider getting extra support from others who are currently helping with your care role. These ‘secondary carers’ might be family, friends or professional carers. But if it is no longer possible for you and your support circle to give your ageing loved one the care they need, it might be best for both of you if they consider moving into aged care.
For temporary situations, respite care is available. Also known as ‘short-term care’, respite care can range from overnight, a weekend or a few weeks. Respite care and can happen on a planned or emergency basis and is available in aged care homes approved for extra service places. Extra service places provide a significantly higher standard of accommodation, food and services to care recipients.
For some families, the consideration of a nursing home comes after a sudden stroke or fracture of the hip, or a health decline, making caring for a parent at home extremely difficult, as they will usually require more nursing care than you can realistically provide.
Your next steps
You might feel guilty suggesting a move to a residential care home, but if the person’s needs are overwhelming, it is only sensible to find an alternative, more sustainable way for them to get the care they need. For more information on choosing an aged care community on the Gold Coast, read our Guide to Choosing Aged Care on the Gold Coast.
There is a process to follow to find an appropriate residential care facility for your loved one. The first step is to arrange an assessment with a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).