5 Things to Consider Before Keeping Your Senior at Home
It’s no secret that our aging parents and grandparents want to stay in their current home as long as possible. But before making that decision to keep your loved one at home, consider these 5 issues:
1. Is The Home Safe?
Falls are one of the major causes for rapid decline in our seniors. It is often the precipitating event that may force a transition into a long-term care facility. Falls can be prevented, though. For instance, taking steps such as removing unneeded throw rugs, removing any clutter from the floors or in hallways, installing safety rails in bathrooms, and updating the lighting inside and out can help tremendously. In addition, providing your senior with non-slip shoes can eliminate many falls before they happen. The bottom line: if the home isn’t safe, take action to make it more safe before leaving an aging senior home alone.
2. Build a Team
Let’s face it. You can’t be everything to everyone and you can’t be everywhere at once. Often times when something major happens, we are pulled from many directions. You may be driving across town to drop off a child at soccer practice when you get the call your loved one needs to go to the doctor for an unplanned visit. Always have a team of helpers, whether it’s family members, neighbors, friends, etc. You may consider Kind Companions as a back-up to your team. Setting up a consultation with our caregivers and completing all of the necessary paperwork before care is needed could save you peace of mind down the road. Also have your loved one’s doctors involved in the plan, and aware of who may be reaching out to them, if it’s you and/or other members of your family. Tell everyone your expectations so they are clear from the beginning.
3. Home Maintenance
If your loved one is going to remain in their home alone, it may be time to consider the maintenance of their home. Expecting them to continue to clean the house, perform lawn care tasks, change air filters in an attic, just may not be feasible or wise. Hire a bonded and insured cleaning company and coordinate a scheduled cleaning once or twice per month. Hire a lawn care service that comes every two weeks and maintains the grounds year round. Have a list of qualified handymen or contractors, such as electricians or plumbers, so that scheduling emergency or routine maintenance or repairs isn’t more of a hassle when needed.
4. Self-Care & Bills
Before considering whether or not a senior can stay at home alone, consider whether or not they can perform some basic daily tasks related to self-care and hygiene. Showing in a standard tub or shower can be dangerous for a senior who isn’t moving as quickly anymore. Always consider hand rails and non-stick mats or a shower chair. Also be certain they are comfortable handling their own medication and remembering to take them everyday. Even things such as bill paying can be challenging for aging seniors, so be sure you have some extra time or an assistant to help with monthly bills and expenses. Even something as small as being able to take quick trips to the grocery store for food can be tricky, so make sure all of these things are considered.
5. Take Advantage of Technology
In today’s high-tech world, take advantage of the many tools available to help monitor and protect your senior and their home. Depending on the needs and budget, there are security systems and videos available, motion and lighting sensor alarms, automated timers and reminders, GPS location services and more. Take a few minutes to explore what’s available and what will work best for your loved on and your family.
As always, our Kind Companions are here to assist you with the tough decisions you may have to make regarding the care and well-being of your loved ones. If we can ease the concerns or physically step in and relieve you at any time, please reach out.