With advanced planning, you can successfully care for your elderly parents in their home. The first step toward successfully keeping your parents in their home is to have a frank discussion with them. Ask about their finances and accounts. Draw up paperwork that will give you access to their accounts in the event they become hospitalized. Find out if there are any areas of the house that they struggle to keep up with and ask if they have had any recent falls or accidents in the kitchen. Knowing this information will help you determine what assistance, if any, that they need right now or in the near future. It can be awkward and they may be resistant, but if their desire is to stay in their home as long as possible, then they will have the conversation with you.
Make Sure They Stay Connected to Friends and Family
It is common for seniors to become isolated and at risk for depression. Combat this by being mindful of your elderly parent’s social calendar. Get them involved with their church community or a local school. Suggest they volunteer at the local library or zoo. If your parent has a skill or specialty, see if they can tutor at a nearby school. Set up regular dates for them to visit with extended family members or friends they do not see regularly.
Keep Them Healthy and Safe
If your parent is not able to always remember whether they took their medication or the last time they ate, it may be time to employ the services of a home care agency. Having someone come in a few times a week to monitor your parent’s vitals is an excellent way to keep them safe while still letting them live at home.
Encourage them to exercise, either with DVDs, neighborhood walks, or by attending an exercise class. Regular exercise can keep someone functionally and mentally younger by up to 15 years. If possible, make a point of joining in the exercise both as a means of providing companionship and so you know they are getting regular workouts.
It may be time to discuss your parent’s driving. If so, it is a difficult conversation and many elderly people do not like the idea of losing that level of independence. Have alternative means of transportation available. Make it more than just, “Call me and I will take you where you want to go.” Elderly parents do not like to be a burden to their children. A better alternative may be teaching your parent how to navigate the public bus system or using the services of church or community center transportation. Many times, churches and community centers put together groups of seniors to go grocery shopping or to events.
Make Their Home a Safe Place
A few household tweaks can make a huge safety difference for your elderly loved one. Remove area rugs and small pieces of furniture. Make sure paths to different rooms are clutter free and take locks off the bedroom and bathroom doors; doing this ensures you can get to them immediately if they need help.
Install sturdy handrails on both sides of the stairs or if possible, move their bedroom to the first floor so they do not have to go upstairs as often.
Take advantage of technology like home monitoring systems that alert authorities when it detects a fall. Make outside walkways level and remove steps if possible.
About Guided Living Senior Home Care
Guided Living offers home health care services serving Plymouth, MA and the surrounding areas. Our mission is to assist our clients with improving quality of life, encouraging independence within their home and providing first-class care with respect, dignity, compassion and the highest ethical standards.
We have incorporated great technology into the company like our FamilyCARES portal that gives families a real time look into their loved one’s care. One of our goals is to build trust and show accountability to clients and their families through transparency.
We take care management seriously and each client has a dedicated Registered Nurse Care Manager that will supervise caregivers, perform regular in-home checks, and most importantly be available for clients and families to help navigate through tough questions and uncertainties during difficult times.
To speak with a Registered Nurse Care Manager to learn more about our services call 508-927-1213 any time.