The natural aging process can leave your aging loved one feeling vulnerable and force them to rely on others for help. If your parent isn’t quite ready to go into an assisted living or full-time nursing facility just yet, it’s important to figure out which resources may be available to help make life easier. Here are just a few helpful resources and tips for helping your loved one meet their daily needs.
It’s important to always promote physical activity with your loved one. If they can’t get out and walk or engage in aerobic activity, it’s good to encourage maintaining a range of motion indoors just to keep their blood flow moving and to improve their mobility. If your loved one enjoys spending a lot of time inside though and doesn’t get around well, you may notice that they are choosing to sleep in their favorite chair more than they have in the past. This is because, for many people with mobility issues, the act of getting up to go to bed is often far more taxing than simply staying put. If this is a habit your loved one has gotten into, specially made sleep chairs offer a far more comfortable option than their current recliner or couch. You can choose from models that offer massage and heat as well as models that will recline and lift—making them easy to get in and out of. Talk to your loved one to see if a sleep recliner lift chair is something they would like to try in their home. It can make their life easier and reduce their risk of exhaustion when trying to get up from a seated position.
Aiding Mobility and Preventing Falls
Have you found your loved one stranded in their own home due to a fall or not being able to get out of a chair? This can be troubling and scary for both you and them. In fact, frequent falls can be a criterion for admission to a nursing facility–something that should be your last resort. Take the fear out of leaving your loved one at home alone by implementing some mobility aids such as handrails and grab-bars in the shower and near the toilet. This can make it easier to change positions when a walker or cane won’t work. You should also put a security system installed. The best systems are those that will alert you when your loved one falls or is in distress. Another safety feature that is quite popular is a monitoring system that can keep you connected with your parent while you are away. These often come with a necklace or bracelet that will connect your loved one to a central hub of professionals who can notify you and alert an ambulance if one is needed–all at the press of a button!
Making Meals Easier
While you may try to help your parents by taking them out to eat frequently, bringing meals over or even preparing meals for the week in advance, they can still fall short of meeting their nutritional needs. One way to solve this issue is by getting them connected to a local food organization that helps donate and deliver food (Meals on Wheels is a popular choice). Local organizations are often state and government-funded agencies that target seniors and make sure at least one meal is delivered to them every day, or as their schedule permits. This, along with taking your loved ones to the local senior events and meal center from time to time can promote more fulfilling eating habits and also boost socialization—something that many seniors need.
Home Health Care
Making a senior’s home more accessible and boosting their participation in social activities can help improve the quality of their life overall. If there are some medical issues that get in the way of their living independently, though, home health care may be a viable option. Enlisting a home health care agency for their services can help your loved one get quality care routine monitoring in regards to their physical, mental and spiritual needs, all without having to leave the comfort of their own home. In addition, if your loved one is having problems taking their meds properly or paying for their medications, a home health care agency can help. An interdisciplinary team of nurses, home health aides, social workers and spiritual care pros will come up with a plan to help make your loved one’s quality of life the best it can be at home.
Taking care of your aging parents doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Look for resources close to home and make contact with the right local professionals to make your senior’s life more livable.