Living Safely at Home
For most of us, our home is our castle. We feel safe and secure in familiar surroundings and want to remain in our own home for as long as possible.
A loved one with increasing care needs might be able to keep on living safely at home if the correct supports are put in place. This can be one of the toughest situations a caregiver and their loved one will face. This is especially true if your care recipient decides they don’t want any of the services that are available. However, in the menu options for this section on the right, there are tools, tips, and resources to help you keep a step ahead of your loved one's needs, allowing them to remain at home safely and independently.
In the end, it's all about safety for both caregiver and care recipient. However, most people don't appreciate how easy it is to be injured when caring for another person. Helping someone up from a chair, in and out of a vehicle, or into and out of the bath are just a few tasks many caregivers assist with every day. Professional care providers, such as nurses and CCAs, go to school to learn safe ways to transfer, bathe, and care. The same education and training are often not provided to caregivers who are giving the same care at home to family and loved ones.
This can mean unpaid caregivers are at risk of injuring themselves because they don’t know the safest way to do certain tasks or how to assist others while protecting their own back and neck.
Canadian Virtual Hospice and the Family Caregivers Alliance have several helpful demonstration videos that show how to safely assist, move, or transfer a family member or friend.
For help starting difficult conversations with your loved one and family about introducing supports at home, see the Caregiver Tips section below.
Our Where to Begin guide can help you decide where additional supports may be needed. We suggest you familiarize yourself with the 6-page guide first and then review it with your care recipient. Going through it together is a great way to get the conversation started, and once you get it started, keep coming back to it so the lines of communication remain open.
It is important to remember that your loved one has the right to make their own decisions unless they are deemed to lack capacity. This is the case even for decisions you may not agree with. It can be both frightening and frustrating for you knowing that, if something goes wrong or if there is an incident, it may have a profound effect on your life as well. We cannot force a loved one to accept services, but we can encourage them to live well and safely while keeping a sharp eye on our own health as well.
If you have concerns that your loved one may no longer have the capacity to make their own decisions, you may want to read about the Adult Capacity and Decision-Making Act on the Public Trustee page of novascotia.ca, the province's official website.
Planning ahead to help your family members age in place is critical. Be proactive, think ahead and get your loved one on board with the idea of making changes early in order for them to stay at home as long as is reasonable. This may help avoid problems and issues that can cause friction and stress later on.
There are a few resources that may help. 9 Strategies to Help a Parent Who Refuses Care offers some guidance on how to introduce the idea of support at home. How to Convince Your Parent to Move to Assisted Living takes a closer look at this common issue faced by many caregivers and families. Also, reviewing the Starting a Difficult Conversation section of our website might be helpful at this time.
Although some changes may be on the horizon, even if they are years in the future, they ought to be considered in the big picture now. If you are noticing changes in your loved one, contact us and we can help walk you through the programs and services that may be available to you.