This is a collaborative post.
Our retirement years are the time to relax when our working life is done! Unfortunately, we can’t do everything that we used to be able to do when we were younger. If you have elderly parents, there will come a time when you may need to think about their care options. Most people wish to stay in their own homes as opposed to a retirement home. With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to look after an elderly parent at home.
Safety Proof Their Home
As we become older, the environment of the home becomes more hazardous to navigate. It’s a good idea to make a few changes to your elderly parents home to keep them both safe and comfortable, according to personal alarm company Taking Care, 50% of people over the age of 50 will have an accident at home, so let’s consider a few ideas to prevent them:
Ensure that you modify the stairs to prevent accidents. For example, you could buy a stairlift, these can help to provide independence as they are fairly easy to use without any help. If one or more of your parents use a wheelchair, you might think about investing in a wheelchair lift for the same reason.
A bath lift can be a great option to support the use of the tub safely. There are plenty of great battery-powered bath lifts which offer practicality and comfort both. You can also think about installing a walk-in shower (complete with a seat) for ease of use. Replace normal shower mats with anti-slip mats.
Declutter & rearrange
Help your parents to declutter the home so that all pathways are clear and there are no hazards to stumble over. Ensure that you rearrange cupboards so that all the items that they need are in easy reach. Higher cupboards can be harder to reach for the elderly, so only keep things up here for storage.
Plan Your Care Giving
Of course, you’ll have your own commitments with work and your home life, and you won’t want to overstretch yourself. For this reason, it can be beneficial to plan out your caregiving. Think about the times when your parents might need the most care and track these against your own schedule. Call upon any siblings that you have to help to make a plan of action and share the duties. Remember, though you’ll want to provide help, you need to prioritise your own self care too. Making a care schedule can also help to let your parents know when they can expect you.
Activities To Benefit Health
As we get older, both our physical and cognitive health can decline. If you want to look after your elderly parents, it can be a good idea to help them to do a few activities that will benefit their health. Simple activities like going for a walk or a few yoga stretches can make all the difference to mobility. Often, mobility can decline the less that we use our bodies. To improve cognitive health, engage in brain training activities like Sudoku, card games, chess, or trivia. There are plenty of brain boosting games online.
Plan with friends
If your parent has a few friends who they sometimes forget to call, why not take it upon yourself to arrange a meet up? Elderly people in retirement can often get a little lonely, so having a few friends around can make all the difference. Lastly, if your parents aren’t too savvy with a mobile phone, it can be a great plan to try and teach them. (Some seniors are a real whizz with phones while others find the new technology a little tricker-it all depends!) The more comfortable they are using a mobile, the more likely they are to call you if there’s an issue.
Get Some Extra Help
Getting in some extra help can be a wise move to help both you and your elderly parents. A live-in carer allows your parents to stay in their own home while keeping their independence and gaining around the clock care. With such a service, you’ll gain peace of mind for all the family. Companies like Helping Hands have over 30 years of experience in providing families with fantastic live-in care. You’ll want to choose a reputable company who can offer you expertise and excellent carers.
When it comes to elderly care, there’s no one fits all solution. Some seniors may welcome the idea of a residential home, due to the chance to socialize with the other seniors there. It all depends on your parents’ preferences, plus the constraints of your own lifestyle.