Your mom and dad plan to age at home. They’ve lived there for 50 years and have no intention of moving at this point. With the right home care plans and help from caregivers and family members, aging at home is often better for a senior’s well-being. You should take precautions to make sure staying in their home doesn’t pose any hazards.
Track Skills and Daily Activities
Keep an eye on changes to their driving abilities and be ready to take away keys when it’s clear vision or skills have declined. That’s one of the many ADLs and IADLs that seniors should be able to do independently. Also watch the ability to keep the house clean, create a list and shop for groceries, and follow instructions issued by a doctor.
Update Household Fixtures to Improve Safety
There are a few things that should be added or inspected to ensure the home is safe. If the bathroom doesn’t have safety grab bars, install them. There are bars that double as towel racks, so you can add them without having to waste space on the wall.
Make sure all stairs inside and outside the home have sturdy rails. Flooring shouldn’t have slippery throw rugs. Bathtub or shower floors should have strips for traction or a suction mat that can be removed for easy cleaning.
Organize Cabinets to Put Commonly Used Items Lower
To prevent a fall, avoid situations that would have your parents climbing onto chairs or stools to access items. Go through the bathroom and kitchen cabinets and move items that are used daily to the lower shelves. Items that only get used once or twice a year can go into the higher cupboards.
While you’re organizing, it’s a good time to get rid of small appliances and items that never get used. If your mom bought a fondue pot in the 1970s and never used it again, that’s something to donate to something like Goodwill.
Plan Home Care Wishes in Advance
As early as possible, sit down with your family and discuss home care preferences. Even if you think your parents will never need care services, they might. Research has found that about 8 out of every 10 senior citizens have one chronic health condition. Almost that many have two or more.
If home care becomes necessary, what would your parents prefer? Do they want you or your siblings providing help with bathing, toileting, and dressing? They might prefer to have a trained professional helping with those tasks.
Once you know, call a home care agency to discuss prices and schedules. Depending on your mom or dad’s situation, the caregiver may want someone around for the first week. Find out more by placing a call.