The Golden Years: Caring for Your Aging Parents

It’s difficult to watch parents age and transition from the caregiver to the one in need of care. Nonetheless, it’s important to face the facts early on and be prepared for whatever might happen. Being prepared can make things easier when aging parents are unable to care for themselves, and during the transition up to that point. The following are several tools and resources to help you prepare for caring for your aging parents.

Personal Medical Alert

Consider a medical alert system for unexpected incidents. It’s important for aging parents to be able to get help if they can’t get to a phone after falling, experiencing serious pain or having another type of emergency. In a situation like this, all an elderly parent needs to do is press a button and an operator from a response center will send help and contact the family. It’s also important to have this tool set up early on, so it’s there for an unforeseen emergency.

Bathroom Safety

The shower can be a dangerous place for seniors: not only can it be tough for some seniors to stand for a long period of time, a tub and bathroom tiles can become dangerously slick. It’s a good idea to take a look at what can be done to this area to make it safer and easier to maneuver. Some ideas include adding a shower chair or bath bench, adding a bath rail or grab bars and installing a hand held shower that can be used while sitting in the shower. Be sure that there are bath rugs or other floor accessories to make the bathroom floor safer as well.

Bedroom

Whether your parent needs a blanket support, a bed wedge, or bed rails and risers, it’s very important that they feel safe and comfortable in their own beds. By taking a few extra precautions, you can ensure that they are happy and confident about their own safety.

Mobility Assistance

Caring for the ElderlyYou might—and should—spend a lot of time making sure your parents’ house is safe, but you’ll also need to think about their ability to get around the house. While they should be encouraged to walk as much as possible, they might need the assistance of a walker, a cane, a wheelchair or a scooter. Children can think about getting bars and boosters to help their aging parents get out of beds and chairs.

Personal Care

Everyday tasks like getting dressed can become more difficult for an aging parent. Certain tools, like a long shoe horn, slip-on shoes or a reacher to grab items around the house can make those duties easier. Additionally, some parents may have advanced disabilities and require extra care, such as assisting in personal hygiene, feeding, and transportation.

Friendly Technology

Declining eyesight and hearing can impact your parents’ ability to perform many daily activities. Telephones and remote controls with large buttons and specialty phones with pictures can be a big help. Hearing aids and glasses are also important.

It’s important to be prepared before an aging parent reaches the point of not being able to care for himself. Many tools can help seniors as they age, and making these tools available to help facilitate your transition to caregiver can serve two purposes: it can ease your own worries, and help your aging parents stay independent and healthy.

One Response to “The Golden Years: Caring for Your Aging Parents”

  1. Having spent the last 18 months helping my mother recover from a variety of serious health problems it’s always great to find info like this online.

    One of the biggest problems I had was on tracking down information on creating an accessible bathroom for her and getting funding for that.