Aging relatives brings with it many challenges and items that need to be taken into consideration. One of those items is how to keep your parents safe in their home as they age.
Regardless of how old or frail your parents are, it's a difficult transition to make from them being the caretaker to becoming the care recipient.
Just as it may be uncomfortable for you to jump into their lives and offer help, they may balk at the idea of having to give up independence and ask for assistance. One of the biggest fears most individuals have as they age is the idea of having to move out of their family home and into an assisted living facility.
There are steps you can take, along with your aging parents' input, that may make it possible for them to remain independent in their home. The decision to age-in-place has many factors that need to be considered and there may be a time when it simply isn't a feasible option, but until that time, here are some items to look into to help them stay at home and remain independent:
- Check with social service agencies in your community to see what kind of services is available to your aging parents. You may also want to look into a geriatric care manager; these individuals work as a liaison between you and your aging relatives and some social service agencies. Ask your parent' doctor for advice as well, on senior services.
- Alter the home to make it more senior friendly. Add a home medical monitoring device and use a medical alert pendant for each individual in the home. These devices offer 24/7 peace of mind and provide a way for your aging relative to have immediate access to medical care in the event of a trip or fall accident or other health emergency. Install motion activated light switches, upgrade the bathroom and make certain there are non-slip rugs on all floors and in the bathtub, move items throughout the house to a level that can be reached without having to step on a step stool.
- Look into home meal delivery systems. Most areas have a Meals-on-Wheels service or something similar in nature. This is generally available for those who are housebound and those seniors that are still mobile but who simply don't want to cook meals every day of the week.
- Check into shuttle services or transportation services for the elderly. These transportation providers can get your relatives to and from doctor's visits, days out at a senior center where they can interact and socialize.
- Check with the local library to see if it offers a book delivery service. This may be a great way to keep your aging relatives supplied with reading material or even books on tape.
- Ask your aging parents what issues they feel they're having in the home and look for products or service providers that can help address them.
Keep your aging relatives involved with family events by inviting them to parties, dinners out and making certain you stop by to visit on a regular basis.