The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over. It’s time to return to the familiar routines of work and family. For many, the holidays included visiting aging parents and other family members and an opportunity to view and assess their living situation to determine how well they are functioning independently at home. Oftentimes, this assessment indicates it may be time to suggest changes to the home or the need for other assistance to keep them safe.
Talking with your parent or loved one about getting help at home can be a difficult conversation for both of you. For them, it represents a loss of independence and a realization of declining capabilities. But, talking with your parents or other family about support services doesn’t have to be one long conversation. Instead, when the moment is right, think of working your concerns into everyday exchanges. Then suggest small changes that will keep them safe, comfortable and maintain their independence. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Call several times a week. It will help you learn about what is happening at their home and give you an idea about how things are going.
- Do a home safety inspection. Make sure to test smoke alarms and check the house for uneven flooring and loose wiring. Remove scatter rugs.
- Have grab bars installed in the bathroom.
- Take advantage of local community resources such as Meals-on-Wheels, home delivered grocery services and senior transportation programs that might be available in the community.
- Contact their local senior center to learn of educational or exercise programs available for socialization and to keep them engaged with others.
- Know where important papers, such as their insurance cards and health care proxy, are located.
- Get to know your parents primary doctor and local pharmacy. Accompany them on an occasional routine office visit and get an updated list of their medications.
- Contact your local home health care agency. If your parents begin to need more care, such as help with bathing, medication reminders or light housekeeping, Kind Connections, a private care program of HomeCare, Inc. can help.
Kind Connections is the leader in private care services, and expert at helping elders remain safe and independent in their own home and community.
For a free brochure and list of available services call 978-552-4186 or click here to be directed to the Kind Connections page on our website.