If you have an elderly parent (or parents) that need care on a regular basis then you can do this with a little help. What you must bear in mind though is that you will have to dedicate a great deal of time and effort to ensure that all of their needs are met. Your parent will lean on you a lot as you are their son or daughter and you need to be able to cope with that.
A lot of elderly parents want to stay in their own homes, which means that you will have to visit them regularly. It is very important that you take a number of steps to make sure that their home is safe, especially if they have difficulty moving around. Their home needs to be healthy too so expect a good deal of cleaning to be necessary.
Taking care of an elderly parent is really not easy and it can place a great deal of strain on you and your family. You need to fully discuss this with your family and explain that they will have to make some adjustments.
Make a Safety Assessment of your Parent’s home
The first step in providing care for an elderly parent is to check out their home for safety. Things that you would not consider to be a safety hazard in your home can be really dangerous for elderly parents.
Start with the floor. Are there any loose rugs that could cause your parent to fall and hurt themselves? Does furniture and other items clutter up your parent’s home that could be a safety hazard? If the home has stairs can your parent easily climb them or is a stair lift required?
Make sure that smoke detectors work properly. If there is a carbon monoxide monitor then check this is working too. If these detectors do not exist then get them installed. Check all electrical cords and make sure that nothing is dangling dangerously. Sometimes these cords can be under carpets and can be a risk.
It is a good idea to install grab bars to help your parent get in or out of the shower or the bathtub. Think about taking this a step further by installing grab bars around the toilet. Even if your parent does not need this now, it will help later on.
Keeping it Light at Night
As people get older their eyesight tends to diminish and many elderly people are terrified of the dark because they think that they are going to fall and hurt themselves without adequate lighting.
To alleviate this you can place nightlights in different areas of the home. There should certainly be a nightlight in the bedroom as well as in the hallway outside so that if your parent needs to use the bathroom during the night they will be able to see and find their way safely. You can add a nightlight to the bathroom and other areas such as the kitchen so lights do not have to on all the time.
Plan for Emergencies
Make sure that it is easy for your elderly parent to call for assistance if you are not there. You can use a call monitoring service or alternatively ensure that access to a telephone is available everywhere.
Get your parent a cell phone and show them how to use it if they have not owned one before. If they have a home landline then make sure there are extensions in the bedroom and other areas.
Be sure to check on your parent every few hours if you can’t always be there. You can ask the neighbors of your parent to check in on them as well. You will need to have an emergency list of doctors that you can call if there are any problems. Be sure to also be aware of your parent’s medical history so that you can discuss this if necessary.
Transporting your Parent around
Older people often have to attend medical appointments and if they cannot drive a car anymore then you will need to help them. You can get other family members or friends to help with this too.
There will also be other times where your parent will need transportation. They will need to pick up groceries and will probably want to visit the supermarket with you. It is good for your parent to get out on a regular basis.
What if your Parent requires more Care?
If your parent is in need of additional care such as bathing, preparing meals, cleaning the home and so on then this can put a real strain on you. You will have to spend a great deal of time with your parent and this is not always practical.
Help is at hand with professional home care services. We can provide a tailored home care service package for your parent to relieve some of the strain from you.
See our comprehensive range of professional services here by calling 331-281-0728