General,  Looking after yourself

Looking after elderly relatives in your own home

Looking after elderly relatives in your own home is something more of us will be doing as we have an ageing population. As many families struggle with financial pressures, often it makes sense to pool resources and live in a multi-generation household. Whether due to frailty, loneliness or bereavement, many older people would love to live with their loved ones. My advice would be to think about the emotional and practical implications before making life-changing decisions. Honest communication is key along with practical stuff such as deciding if you need to install a stairlift in your home and working out which welfare benefits may be available to your family.

Looking After

Role reversal

There are certain times when it really hits us that we are actually adults. When your parents need you to care for them, you start to realise that you will be doing some of the very things they did for you when you were growing up. Tasks might range from offering a listening ear to more intensive care such as helping with dressing, toileting and personal hygiene. You may have to accompany your parent to medical appointments and ensure they take their medication at the right time.

Juggling it all

The very time when your parent needs to live with you often comes whilst you are bringing up your children and also trying to make a living. It can be a very stressful time and it is vital you recognise yourself as a carer and seek support. You may feel isolated but there are lots of people out there who can help from your local authority to a wide range of charities. It is a sign of strength to say that you need help and to seek it. Only by looking after yourself well can you care effectively for those around you so never think it is selfish to say you need support too.

My experience

When my mother died, I knew I wanted my father to come to live with me. He was adamant that whilst he liked the idea he would need his own personal space. It took me a year to find the perfect accommodation with an annexe attached to the house. We had some amazing years of memories together before he passed away. He had such quality time with his grandchildren treating them, reading to them and laughing with them. In turn, they learned so much from him and treasure their memories of him. I supported Dad as his needs became greater and he was lovely to have around for me too. We had fun trips out together with a regular Tuesday lunch date and also fish and chips on Fridays. He shared stories that he had not told me when my mum was alive. It was a very precious time for all of us.

Things that can help

You can meet other carers in person or online. You can ask your local authority for the assessment of your elderly relative’s care needs and also your support needs. You may be able to claim welfare benefits or to apply for grants. Depending on the individual, your relative may need special equipment which might be anything from mobility aids through to a specially adapted vehicle. Ensure you look into things like Meals on Wheels and laundry collection services that just might make life a little simpler for you all.

I would recommend looking after elderly relatives in your own home wholeheartedly so long as you have the right support in place. Of course, individual circumstances differ but with a little goodwill and imagination, it is possible to live together and thrive in a multi-generation household.


Looking After Elderly Relatives In Your Own Home

3 Little Buttons

Cuddle Fairy
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • endardoo

    Really fantastic to have looked after your dad like that … mind you, it looks you you were paid back in spades by what sounds like a lovely, lovely man. #BloggerClubUK

    • Kate Davis-Holmes

      Oh thanks so much for a lovely comment and for picking up on how amazing my wonderful Dad was. There was never a time that if you wanted his attention he did not give it generously whatever he was doing. That takes some doing over a lifetime. He was such a strong family man, loved to travel too having taken off to the Navy and Malta aged 17. He was also a policeman and then worked in insurance. He was a great storyteller, an expert in post traumatic stress syndrome at one point and did speeches about that. He took me all over at home and abroad. He is a very hard act to follow though!

  • JakiJellz

    Good for you for taking care of your Dad like that. It’s not easy so but so lovely to give something back. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

  • Lucy At Home

    I’m sure your dad loved being involved in your family life and it sounds like you all loved having him there too. My grandma lived with us while I was in my late teens and I have so many happy memories of her being there – she had time to sit and chat with me (listen to my boyfriend troubles!) where my mum was busy looking after the house and, as you describe, she told me stories that I’d never known about her life. #blogcrush

  • Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS)

    So lovely that you had the opportunity to spend those last special years with your dad and forge a beautiful relationship. I think in our western culture our lives are so sanitised that in the pursuit of seeking lives that are free from pain and suffering, we miss out on the wonderful rewards of what grows in that fertile soil. #blogcrush

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