Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

How to care for elderly parents in their home

Many people choose to remain in their own home rather than move to a care home, even as their need for care increases. This may well be the case for your parents for whom staying at home allows a level of independence and comfort which simply isn't possible in a care home. It may also be a financial necessity. You may have found yourself asking how to care for elderly parents in their home as a result. We take a look at some ways to reduce the pressure on yourself whilst maintaining the right level of care and independence for your parents.

Elderly parents

Care Rota

If the responsibility of caring for your parents can be shared between you and other family members such as your siblings, then try to draw up a rota to keep things fair and even. Many unpaid carers can attest to the fact that that the lion's share of care work ends up being carried out by just one individual. This can occur because one sibling only works part-time or perhaps lives closer, but can result in resentment over time.

Make sure that however you draw up a rota it feels fair to everyone involved. Perhaps one sibling can't do as many hours of care, but can provide more financial help for some paid care? Once you have a rota, try to stick with it and hold regular meetings to make sure everyone feels happy with the care plan.

Home Care

If your parents need round-the-clock care, the obvious option is to appoint a live-in carer. However, this requires some financial commitment and if you can shoulder much of the care yourself then simply booking some additional help may be all you need. Depending on the level of care required, you may want to arrange for some Home Care, perhaps for a few hours in the middle of the day when you're at work.

Alternatively you may want some additional Home Care over weekends to provide you with some respite and time to spend with your own offspring. Home Care services, from a quality care provider such as Guardian, can include a range of options that can be flexibility matched with both yours and your parents' needs.

Elderly parents

Adult Day Centres

As well as the option of home care, you may also be able to find local day care services for your parents. You may well need to be responsible for transporting them to the centre, and you may even need to be there some of the time, but it will still give you a chance to meet and chat with other carers and also provide a much-needed change of scenery for all. The best way to find such centres is through your local Age UK (

When it comes to how to care for elderly parents in their home there is no magic answer. Care recipients can have a range of needs whilst you as the caregiver will be restricted by your own responsibilities. Sharing the load, additional home care and making use of day centres can all help.

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