Helping elderly parents age gracefully in their beloved home is no easy task. But most seniors want to remain in familiar surroundings versus making a big move to assisted living facilities with unfamiliar people, strange noises, and a loss of privacy. How will you be helping elderly parents plan to stay in their home?
It’s important to have the courage to engage in difficult conversations with your senior loved one. They may never dream of leaving home. But, is it possible they can remain in their own home – with a little planning and help?
Helping Elderly Parents with Home Safety
Spend a few days – or at least longer stretches of time – with your loved one to observe them performing daily tasks in their home. How can you help make their home safer?
Don’t be overly critical and cause tension. Remain respectful towards each other. Remember: everyone is a little forgetful sometimes. Does that necessarily mean one has dementia? Of course not.
As you evaluate, ask yourself:
- Are there tripping hazards?
- Does poor lighting make it difficult to see?
- Can they still bathe independently?
- Do they forget to take medications?
- Can they keep their home clean?
- Do their security or safety alarms have flashing lights (if your loved one is deaf or hard of hearing) and work properly?
Now, discuss with your loved one what you noticed. Ask if there is anything impeding their independence or causing them frustration. Can you brainstorm remedies for some of these issues together?
Also, you and your loved one may benefit from the peace of mind that a 24/7 medical alert device subscription provides.
If your loved one has issues performing day-to-day tasks like showering or consistently taking their medications, remaining at home isn’t necessarily out of the question. Can either of you hire help?
Helping with Physical Mobility
How can you reduce fall risk? It’s imperative that your loved one can move safely (and confidently) through their surroundings. During your conversations about aging-in-place, ask:
- Could a walker or cane add stability while climbing stairs or walking?
- Can they wear walking shoes with better support/traction or buy shoes with Velcro straps instead of laces?
- Do they need an appointment with an optometrist to resolve vision issues?
- Do you need to talk to their primary care team about balance issues or dizziness resulting from a medical condition or medicine? (Can performing certain exercises help?)
- Would a lift chair help them more easily switch from sitting to standing positions (and vice versa)?
- Can doorways be widened to accommodate the use of a walker or wheelchair?
- Are there grab bars in the bathroom?
Helping with Transportation
One of the biggest blows to a senior’s independence is giving up driving. It stifles their ability to engage in their community and interact more with family and friends. If your loved one can’t drive, what resources may be out there for helping elderly parents?
You may not be able to help drive your senior loved one everywhere. Fortunately, medical transportation help is available to City of Torrance residents. The Senior Ride and Dial-A-Lift programs have joined together into the Torrance Community Transit Program. And our caregivers can provide rides to the pharmacy, grocery store, recreational activities, etc.
When your senior loved one needs a little help staying in their own home, give us a call for a free consultation about our non-medical care services. A Peaceful Way Home Care has extensive experience with helping elderly parents thrive at home.