As your parent ages past retirement, they’re more likely to need help around the home. While your first instinct may be to move your parent to an assisted living community or even have them move in with you, they may not require round-the-clock care. This is why it’s important for you and other family caregivers to figure out safe ways to keep your aging parent in their own home. The following tips can help you create a caregiving strategy that works for everyone and allows your loved one to remain at home as long as possible.
Being a caregiver to an elderly parent is an incredible responsibility. While you may have every intention of keeping your parent in their own home, you must first decide whether aging in place is a realistic idea. Ask yourself the following questions to help you and your loved one choose an appropriate caregiving plan.
- Can your parent’s health needs be met with in-home caregiving? Are there any physical or mental limitations? If you can’t see your parent living at home due to physical or mental issues, outside care may be your best choice. But, if your parent’s limitations are minor, you may be able to keep them in their space with assistance from home health occupational therapy, home health speech therapy, or personal home care
- Is your parent’s living space conducive to living at home? Are there safety hazards? If so, do you or your loved ones have the financial means to make the home safer?
- Is anyone available to help you with caregiving duties? Family members? Friends? Community organizations? If other resources aren’t available, you may need to think about hiring an in-home companion to share caregiving responsibilities.
- Is help needed during the day, at night, or does your parent need constant supervision? Do you have the time or resources available to care for your loved one at all times? If your parent needs 24/7 care, you may want to look at elder care alternatives outside the home.
Age-Proof Their Home
Your parent will have a difficult time aging at home if their space can’t accommodate their physical limitations. It’s important to know that one out of four people over the age of 65 will experience a fall, so ensuring your parent’s home is safe to live in is a must. The following tips can help you age-proof their home to keep them aging in place safely.
- Does your loved one use a wheelchair? Ensure door widths allow for a wheelchair to move about the space safely.
- Remove any throw rugs especially those found in bathrooms or near staircases. If you leave them, they can cause unnecessary falls.
- Remove thresholds throughout the house. This will help ward off instances of tripping or falls around the home.
- Add secure handrails and grab bars next to steps, staircases, and in bathrooms in case your loved one slips. A shower bench can also steady seniors when they’re inside a slippery shower stall.
- Install bright indoor and outdoor lighting. This will help your parent see where they’re going and promote safety.
- Does your parent have a mild form of dementia? If you’re concerned about your loved one wandering off confused and alone, buy a door chime that rings when front or back doors are opened. This can alert you or others in the house and keep your loved one from wandering off too far.
- Purchase automatic locked pill dispensers. If your loved one is like most seniors, they likely take a number of prescription medications. Locked pill dispensers can keep your parent on track with medications and alert them when they’re running low.
For additional help with home remodeling for seniors, contact the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to find a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) in your area.
Technological advances can help your elderly parent remain healthy and safe in their home. While Life Alert was one of the first devices to aid seniors who endured falls at home, modern devices and digital applications are making it even easier to help seniors age in place. Consider taking advantage of the following tech devices and applications.
- Buy a prepaid mobile phone and program it for your parent. Get your parent an easy-to-use mobile phone and add essential phone numbers (e.g. family members’ numbers, neighbors’ numbers, doctors’ offices, emergency services, etc.). Having each important number at their fingertips will save much-needed time in critical situations.
- Install a smart-home device to help your parent control things with their voice. These can be great tools for people who have limited mobility. Show your parent how to use the device to make phone calls, order food, turn off lights, lock doors, control heat or air conditioning, turn on the radio, play audiobooks, and more.
- Use Google Drive’s free tools to organize, manage, and share important information with family members and other home caregivers. Think pharmacy prescriptions, medication lists, home security system passwords, living wills, power of attorney information, and finance management. These documents can be easily accessed while at home on your computer or on the go via apps on your smartphone.
- Enroll in a home delivery service. This will ensure that your parent won’t run out of necessities such as hygiene items, incontinence products, dry foods, and other household goods. You or another family member can order items from a list or set up recurring orders to be shipped directly to your loved one’s front door.
Seek Support from a Senior Home Care Service
While you may be the primary caregiver for your elderly parent, there will be times you or other family members can’t be around or simply won’t have the skills needed to take care of your loved one. In-home senior care agencies can offer expert support so your aging parent can live comfortably and safely in their own home for longer. From companion home care to home health nursing services, an agency will work with you to develop a care plan that fits your loved one’s unique needs.
In-Home Caregiving Services for Seniors in Akron, Ohio
When you choose My Family for senior caregiver or home health care services, you can rest assured that your elderly parent is receiving the most attentive care at home. Our experienced caregivers and home health nurses in Akron, Ohio will work with your loved one’s needs and your schedule to ensure optimal comfort, dignity, safety, and excellent clinical care at home. Contact us for a home care assessment today.