All people and families are affected by aging, it is an inevitable part of life. Your body and mind are changing, and some things you used to do on a regular basis are turning into challenges. It can be scary, but we need to understand the processes that are happening and act accordingly. If you have senior parents or relatives, there are many tips on how to help them lead the best, and more importantly, the safest version of their lives. Aging can affect their physique, well-being and overall mental state. Transitional phases can be hard on them, especially if they have impaired mobility or health-related issues.
Consult with experts and family, and provide them accessories and safety measures that they deserve. Remember that some of the daily activities that are simple and basic human needs can become dangerous. This article will cover the most important aspects of keeping your elderly loved ones safe in their homes.
First things first
Depending on the condition and mobility of a person, routines like going to buy groceries or pay the bills can turn into a serious problem. They might not be able to carry all that stuff, fall on the way home, or lose money and important documents. You can begin by helping them with these kinds of tasks. Help them prepare food, perhaps stock their fridge with fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks and pre-cooked meals for a week in advance. Also, they might not want to follow their dietary restrictions, so in this way, you can alternate the ingredients without them even realizing.
What they won’t admit
Dressing and personal hygiene are also aspects they are likely not to admit they need help with. Provide them with easy-to-use products, clothes without unnecessary buttons and buckles and proper footwear. Make their home environment more accessible and bright. Most of our beloved seniors have trouble with their eyesight, even if they refuse to admit it. This fact only increases the risk of accidents, so make the entrances and hallways extra bright, and consider putting neon covers over the light switches. If they have to take prescribed medication, leave them schedule notes, set alarms or, if needed, remind them yourself!
Some home modifications are a matter of safety. Start with the bathroom, and install grab bars and safety strips. This step will significantly reduce the possibility of dangerous slips and falls. Other options would include bathtub chairs and benches, as well as the walk-in bathtubs. Consider some changes in the kitchen as well, if the cabinets and counters are too high. Install alarms and smoke detectors. Carefully examine the floor and carpeting situation, replace if needed to prevent trips and slips. If a senior uses a mobility aid, such as a walker or a wheelchair, widening the doorways is obligatory.
You must also understand that spending every waking moment by their side is simply not feasible. However, getting quality devices like alarms and safety pendants made by a good company, like National Health Australia for example, can help you out immensely. These are small devices that can be activated to alarm you if anything is happening. For example, if the person under your care can’t reach the phone, they can contact you more easily with a pendant. They also have fall detection, sensing if they slip, and can send out a message to you to come and check on them.
Remind them it’s a change, not a downgrade
You should be considerate about their feelings and never act impatiently. Seniors are adapting to a different lifestyle, and it must be hard on them. Try to call them frequently, and remind them of the benefits of old age. Encourage them to learn a new language, join a book club and visit local community events. There must be some art exhibitions, galleries, concerts and theatre shows they would be interested in attending, and they often offer senior discounts. Help them organize several activities for peers on a weekly basis, such as card game night. Provide them with books and crossword puzzles. If possible, encourage them to stay active and exercise.
Losing a part of your independence is an inevitable part of growing older. It is something we will all go through. Understanding our elderly loved ones is a major part of the ultimate goal of keeping them safe. Changes in their strength, bodily functions, metabolism, and motivation can’t be stopped or altered, but everything else can be, including their home environment, daily routines, and responsibilities.
Pay attention to their behavior, there are going to be a lot of things they won’t admit to, probably even to themselves! Remind them that people now have a longer life expectancy and a healthier lifestyle and habits can bring them unexpected happiness. Not to mention the advanced technology they can use to monitor and improve their lives.