The word “elderly” can often have negative connotations associated with it, but in today’s society, nothing could be further from the truth. If you have an elderly parent, then you know better than anyone just how strong their desire is to stay healthy, active, comfortable, and independent well into their golden years. Retirees are often just as busy, if not busier than they were during their working years as they join clubs, senior groups, and really enjoy their time.
So, what can you do as an adult-child to ensure that your parent continues to live a comfortable and independent lifestyle for as long as possible? There are actually all kinds of steps and tips you can use that will ensure everyone is happy and healthy.
If your parent is the type that doesn’t even want to think about going into an assisted living home, and really there is no need unless their health dictates it, then you may want to make the suggestion that you at least live nearby each other. This may require one of you to move, but by living nearby one another, you’ll be able to pop in on a regular basis, offer help when needed, and just have that peace of mind that you’re never too far away.
While your parent may be in overall great health, it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t still benefit from specific medical devices. Take, for example, a hearing aid. It’s perfectly normal for people to start to lose their hearing as they age, and while this isn’t a serious life-threatening problem, it does affect their quality of life.
So, rather than just accept it as the new normal, you can encourage your parent to speak to the professionals. For example, they could visit the team of hearing specialists at London Hearing who offer a free 30-day hearing aid trial which may be worthwhile. You can also suggest that they visit the londonhearing.co.uk website where you can complete a free 3-minute online hearing test.
One of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors is the bathroom, as it is often the space where slips and falls can occur. As your parent continues to age, the chance of a bathroom fall also increases. So, rather than just wait for it to happen, why not take a proactive approach and make the bathroom safe and accessible.
In order to make the bathroom safer, you can do things such as install grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet; place a shower chair in the shower so they don’t have to stand; install a handheld showerhead at a height they can easily reach; apply a non-slip treatment to the bottom of the shower; take away any bathroom mats or carpets that could be a tripping hazard; renovate the shower and tub so that your parent can walk right in without having to do a step.
For some elderly people, a toilet can also be a problem, as it can feel quite low to the ground, making it hard to sit down and then get back up. If that’s the case, a raised toilet can solve all their problems.
For those whose parent still has their own home complete with a garden, you want to be sure that all doors into the house are safe, level, and clear of any debris or obstacles. Basically, you are removing any chances of them tripping or falling as they walk into the house or leave. It’s also a good idea to install exterior lighting so that all paths and steps are well-lit. They can even be on motion-sensor timers, so they automatically come on as they sense a person in the vicinity.
For some people, it can be difficult to get out of the house and do errands. Things such as grocery shopping or attending a medical appointment can be very difficult. This is when it can be helpful to look into delivery services. They can have their groceries delivered right to their door, or even full meals and take out the cooking altogether. It’s all about making their life easier without taking away their independence.
Each of these tips is designed to help your elderly parent feel comfortable, safe, secure, independent, and taken care of. Just because they need a little help here and there doesn’t mean they can’t still live a very full life in their own place.
*This is a guest post