As your parents get older and unable to carry out certain activities, the question of whether or not they should remain on their own comes into play. Obviously, if mom or dad were suffering from a long-term illness, you’d opt to put them in a nursing home or have them move in with you for around the clock attention and care. Yet, if they simply need occasional help getting around, preparing meals, and tending to housework, your parents may want to stay in the homes they’ve worked so hard to build over the years.
If your elderly parents refuse to leave their homes or just need basic help around the house, then living out their years in the family home isn’t a bad idea. As you’d naturally be concerned about their safety and well-being, there are things you can do to ensure that they are healthy and safe whether you’re there or not.
Senior Proof the Home
Safety should be a top priority for aging adults. As their health declines, they aren’t able to get around as easily and are at greater risk for getting hurt. To help mom and dad remain safe and independent in their homes, you’ll need to senior proof their home. Here are some tips:
Stairlifts – If mobility is a problem for your aging parents from a disability or arthritis getting up and down the stairs is likely a problem. You can have chair stair lifts installed in their home to make it easier for them.
Grab bars – Slip and falls are high among seniors. This is especially true in areas of the home that are slippery like the bathroom. Install grab bars in the bathtub, next to the toilet, and perhaps in the hallways or other areas of the home to provide extra support for your parents as they get around.
Secure flooring – Inspect all the flooring in your parent’s home to make sure there aren’t any damages that could lead to a trip and fall. You may need to nail or glue down area rugs and step carpeting and repair any loose tiles found on wood or tiled floors.
Senior alter system – Your parents may already have a home security system, but you can increase safety measures by investing in a senior medical alert system. The devices are generally necklaces with alarms attached to them. If your parent should get hurt, they hit the panic button and emergency services are immediately dispatched to their home.
Your parents still need to eat, but preparing meals may not be the safest bet for them anymore. Some find cooking to be draining and difficult, while others make hazardous mistakes like burning pots or forgetting to cut off the stove. To make sure your parents are getting the nourishment they need you can consider the following:
Prep meals for them – You can make cooking easier by preparing meals for your parents. You can take the weekend to cook everything and place it in containers for them to heat up throughout the week.
Food delivery – Another option for getting your parents food would be to look into community programs that deliver food. There are programs that will deliver free or affordable meals to seniors in the area. Even one meal delivery per day can help take the burden off of your parents and you.
Though they may not travel as often, your aging parents are still going to need to get around. If they are not cleared to drive or prefer not to drive anymore, there are options for getting them where they need to be:
Transportation services – many cities have transportation services that are free or affordable for seniors. They can get picked up and transported to their doctor’s office, local shopping centers, and other destinations.
Family volunteers – if your parents need to get around you can ask family members to chip in their time. Create a calendar that lists all their appointments and your family can choose days they are free to help out.
Watching the very people that gave you life and raise you to become weaker and less capable of doing things for themselves is daunting. If your parents are dealing with significant medical problems, it may be best to hire a home health aide or consider senior living facilities for more advanced care and assistance. If they’re otherwise in good health, the above-mentioned tips can help ensure they remain that way.