Tips for Senior Loved Ones Visiting
As the holidays approach us rapidly, it is important to remember a few helpful tips that will make everyone’s lives easier when senior loved ones come to your home for an extended visit. Your elder loved ones may have a few or several needs that you will need to address to make sure their visit is as fun as possible for everyone involved, not to mention easy and stress free. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind for this coming season.
- Home access: Many seniors suffer from mobility issues, weakness in their legs, and balance issues. Injuries suffered from a fall are one the biggest causes of needless hospitalization of seniors, and once a senior has suffered one fall their risk of suffering a second increases considerably. Check the footpaths in your home of where they will be coming into the house, as well as interior paths through rooms and the floorspace of whichever room they’ll be staying in. You may need to do some work to clear a path, such as picking up anything on the floor, securing or covering any loose cords or patches of carpet, and making sure any hallways and stairways are well lit. For many seniors, the bathroom can be a hazardous room of the house due to the necessary sitting and standing, as well as multitude of wet, slick surfaces. Consider, if time permits, adding safety features like grab rails and shower seats to the bathroom.
- Pets: If your loved one is bringing a pet, select a family volunteer to assist with the tasks to care for it such as feeding and walking, if necessary. And be sure to provide a safe space for the animal to stay in, as close to your loved one as possible.
- Activities: In advance of their visit, ask your loved one what activities you can provide for them. Maybe they like to play card games, do crossword puzzles, or something else simple you can easily provide for them to avail themselves of for the duration of their visit during the unstructured time between family events.
- Create a perfect space: Set aside a comfortable chair with a nice pillow and a blanket in a quiet area of the house where they might be able to rest and engage themselves in whatever activities they enjoy. If they enjoy knitting, reading, or doing puzzles, make sure there’s plenty of light available.
- Honor their schedule: Check in with them or their caregiver before their visit to learn about any medications they might be on or any dietary requirements. Many seniors take at least one medication a day, and multiple medications often require a schedule that must be adhered to. By knowing beforehand what medications they take and when, you can help them stick to their regimen.
- Provide a quiet area: Make sure there’s a quiet area of the house set aside for them that they can freely avail themselves of should they need a few minutes alone or just some time to get a quick nap in.