Before attempting to take care of your aging parent at home, there are a number of things that should be kept in mind. First and foremost, you ought to realize that the decision to offer your home to your aging mother or father will affect the whole family, including your own children and spouse. Secondly, you must address several other things, such as their living space, dietary needs, medication and personal hygiene. Doing all these things is not that simple, but with the below five tips, you can provide a safe and decent living environment for your aging parent at home:
1. Medication Schedules
As a caregiver, one of the most important tasks you will have to fulfill is to ensure that your aging parent gets the appropriate medication, as prescribed by the physician. It is also very important for all members of the household to know the purpose of each and every medication and how they work. Note that most elderly patients do not take all their medications, or usually forget whether they have taken some or not. Therefore, you are required to keep track of their medication schedules or administer the drugs yourself.
2. Room Preparation Tips
Ensure the room that will accommodate your aging parent is sparkling clean and well ventilated. The room should be painted in fresh and cheerful colors, such as green and soft yellows to create a calming and soothing effect. It must also have ample lighting for reading and an extra place to sit other than the bed. You may also consider placing a baby monitor near the bed so that your aging parent, regardless of whether they are bedridden or not, can call for help whenever necessary. If your home is already crowded and has only one bathroom, it would be best to purchase a bedside commode for more convenience.
Elderly parents find it difficult to admit, particularly to their children, that they need assistance with basic daily needs such as toileting and bathing. Some are so embarrassed of their incapacity to look after themselves that they become argumentative and short tempered. As a caregiver, understand that such feelings are just natural and their anger is not aimed at you, but at the predicament they are currently going through.
Ensure that the bathtub is well equipped with grab bars or safety handles to assist your aging parent in and out of the bathtub. When the endeavor becomes too problematic, they may be forced to take their bath or shower while sitting on a bathing stool. Such equipment can be obtained from your local medical supplies store. And if he/she is bedridden, they should be given a bed bath at least two or three times every week.
The installation of a toilet safety frame around the toilets they frequently use aids them in sitting and rising, and also provides them with something stable to hang on to. Having a raised toilet seat will also be useful, particularly if they are recovering from back trouble or hip surgery. Additionally, ensure that the tissues and toilet paper are always within reach.
4. Protecting them from Falls
When an aging patient falls over, it may spell a lot of disaster. Broken elbows, backs, hips and knees can be devastating injuries to the elderly. Moreover, osteoporosis and arthritis make the elderly especially prone to bone injuries, so make sufficient plans to ensure that their living space, as well as the entire home, is as safe as possible. For instance, line their bathtubs with adhesives or non-slip stickers and fix safety handrails near the bathtub and toilets. Do not use talcum powders because the residue may not be visible to the aged and they also cause slippery surfaces. Tuck all electrical cords safely along baseboards or under rags and remove unnecessary items on the floors.
5. Getting Aged Care Equipment
These types of equipment are important because they help to mitigate some of the problems faced by those who are aging, so they can live a more comfortable life. More importantly, this equipment helps them maintain a treasured semblance of independence. It includes the following: sleep therapy equipment, patient trolleys, fall out mats and other aging products.
Though family support is necessary and crucial for anyone intending to taking care of their aging parent at home, there are also community services that will make the job much easier for anyone involved. Offer your aging the parent the opportunity to get out of the house time after time.
Image source: intentionalretirement.com
Alex Pejak is a health blogger currently working on a few projects in Australia. She is interested in topics related to well-being and natural healthcare.