4 ways to help your senior parents age safely and comfortably at home
Most seniors would choose to spend their golden years in the comfort of their own homes and communities. If you have had this conversation with your senior parents, the importance of their continued independence has likely already become clear. As an adult child, you want the best for your senior parents, but you also want to make sure that they are safe and secure.
Seniors are at particular risk for accidents in the home, and this safety issue is a huge concern for many family members. If there are any cognitive or health issues present with your senior parents, having them age at home may become more complicated.
The most important part of planning for your parent’s senior care is communication. Frank conversations can be tough but are necessary to ensure that your parents are in the safest and most comfortable environment. Keeping your parents at home can be done with the right planning and help like 24-hour continuous in-home care. Talk about the specific needs of your senior parents and take a look at these ways that you can help them to remain living independently.
Whether your senior parent stays living independently at home or in an assisted living facility, their safety should be your priority. Family homes are familiar spaces but aren’t always the safest environment. Sloping staircases, uneven sidewalks, and loose railings could mean disaster for your senior parents.
If your parents want to remain living at home, your first task should be to complete a safety assessment of their current home. Make sure that their appliances are all working properly, check all fire and carbon monoxide alarms, and fix any trip hazards. It may also be a good idea to investigate a personal alert alarm that can be used in case of any emergency.
Your senior parents may be able to stay in their home if they had a bit of help. Most seniors can live independently if they have some assistance with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, or laundry. Although family members and adult children try their best to provide extra care for seniors, it’s not always possible to fill all the gaps. Bringing in a qualified senior care worker can help parents to keep their independence and get the level of assistance that works the best for them. Especially if they are not very mobile and have health problems such as urinary incontinence, consider hiring someone to facilitate their daily activities.
One of the best ways to help your senior parents to maintain their independence is to encourage an active lifestyle. Regular exercise and social interaction are essential part of maintaining both physical and mental health. Seniors who end up isolated without social outlets or physical activity often struggle with depression and loneliness. Encourage your senior parent to participate in senior activities in their community helping them stay active and engaged.
Loneliness is a real problem for many seniors. As their family grows up and leaves the home, they see less of their children and grandchildren. For adult children that don’t live locally, visits may be few and far between. Hiring a companion for your senior parent can have a positive impact on their daily lives. Whether it is a senior social worker or a volunteer from Meals On Wheels, seniors often look forward to spending time with an occasional companion.
Adult children want to see their senior parents remain both happy and healthy during their golden years. Having a frank conversation about what arrangements can be made to allow parents to age in place is a great place to start. Complete a safety assessment, consider if in-home care is necessary, get your parents involved in social activities, and providing companionship for your senior parents are excellent steps towards helping them live independently.
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