Taking care of elderly parents at home, either theirs or yours requires dedication of time and effort. Adult children of elderly parents should discuss such options with parents before such needs arise. Whether you decide to visit your parent's home on a regular basis or move mom or dad (or both) in with you, certain steps need to be taken to provide them a safe and healthy environment.
Caring for the elderly is not easy and places a strain on caregivers and their families, regardless of how willing they are to help. Learning the basics of caring for the elderly at home will help prepare caregivers and their families for this task.
Inspect the home for safety first. If your home or your parent's home does not have these detectors, install them. Make sure lamp cords or appliance wires are tucked safely against baseboards or snaked under rugs or otherwise taped or tacked down to prevent slips and falls.
First, make sure that your home is safe for your elderly parent(s).
Assess risks such as fall hazards that may be caused by loose rugs that slip under shoes or walkers, cluttered furniture that makes navigation difficult or areas of the house that may offer difficulty to the elderly (such as stairs). Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in working order.
Install grab bars in the bathroom for added security and for help with climbing into and out of a bathtub or shower. Grab bars may also be installed around toilets for added support, which helps prevent slips.
Install non-skid strips or pads in the bathtub or shower as well as in front of the bathing area to help prevent falls. If bathroom rugs are used on linoleum, make sure they can be tacked or fastened to the floor with anti-skid strips, tacks or other fasteners. All electrical appliances in the bathroom should be unplugged until ready to use and be kept away from sources of water.
Install nightlights at strategic areas around the house; for example, in the parent's bedroom and in the hallway outside of the bedroom so mom can make her way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Place nightlights in the bathroom and kitchen and living areas as well to help provide a bit of illumination during nighttime hours without having to leave lights on.
By considering the above matters, you will be able to take care of your elderly parents at home with ease.