Caring For Aging Parents
How To Help Your Parents Age Independently In Their Own Space
Your parents have always been there for you, giving you the tools, freedom and support to become a secure, intelligent and independent adult. While you were growing up, you might have never imagined a time in their lives when they may need their own specialized tools to transition into senior status. Many millennials are coming up with clever solutions to help.
If your parents are like more than 89 percent of senior citizens, according to Caring.com and a 2011 AARP study, 〈full pdf〉 they want to stay in their own home for as long as possible, even if they need some help getting around and taking care of daily tasks. While you understand how important it is to your parents that they maintain their independence, it is just as important to find ways to tend to their health and well-being and keep them safe.
Whether due to injury or illness, one or both of your parents may not be at 100 percent performance level. You may worry about them when taking the stairs up to bed each night or carrying the garbage out to the curb at dusk. There are many ways that you can help your parents age independently so you can rest easier each night. Knowing they are safe, and that they are able to live on their own terms with the added bonus of knowing they are easing your mind.
• Make safety and security adjustments to their home
New dangers arise as seniors suffer from deteriorating vision, strength, flexibility and overall health. Take a look around your parents’ home and consult an expert who can make recommendations. Search for danger zones, so you can adjust accordingly.
For example, consider installing bathroom rails to avoid slip and fall accidents. Lower pantry shelves for easier access to frequently eaten items. Add extra and improved lighting to high-risk areas like the hallway leading from their bedroom to the restroom.
• Hire someone to do regular chores, errands and repairs
Remove the temptation for your parents to mow the grass or take out the garbage by hiring a trusted professional to do those tasks regularly. Consider using all-round services like TaskRabbit if you’re in a pinch. Try to hire someone able and willing to do chores around the house. Cleaning, laundry and simple home repairs, as well as someone who can go to the grocery store to pick up essentials.
• Purchase a wearable medical alert device
A medical alert system like Lively Mobile by GreatCall is an effective compromise for you and your parents that will keep them safely and happily in their home while you know they are safe.
With the right medical alert device, you will know in an instant if something has gone wrong and that help is on the way. Important features to consider include:
- Your parents have the option to wear it comfortably on their wrist or tuck it into their pocket.
- The medical alert system detects when someone has fallen and instantly sends a call for assistance.
- The device features accurate GPS to make it easier to quickly confirm specific location.
With these ideas, you can put your mind at ease so you can manage your life and career while knowing your parents are safe and sound, living their lives the way they choose to.
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