Caring for an elderly family member can be a lot of responsibility. Moving them into your home may be the best solution for you and your family in terms of giving them quality care, but that doesn’t make it easy. Here are some of the things that you’ll need to remember so that you can ensure that you and your home are prepared to care for your parent when they come.

Home Safety Concerns 
Your home may not be equipped to deal with an aging family member. Adding in grab bars in the bathroom is a good start so that they don’t suffer from a fall while trying to stand up, sit down, or maneuver their way into the shower or tub. You’ll also have to consider widening doorways to make room for any wheelchairs or walkers they may need, removing trip hazards on your floors, and considering how and if they need to navigate stairs. You may find is simpler to equip the first floor with everything they need to remove the necessity of taking on the stairs. However, if you do this, it’s important that family members frequent the area where your parents are so that they don’t feel lonely or isolated. 

Medication Reminder Solutions 
Setting an alarm is one way to remind your elderly family member that it’s time for them to take their medication. A pill box that’s separated by day and time will also help you to keep them on track and make sure that you don’t give them double their dosage, or make it easy to track if you miss a day.

You’ll be able to tell at a glance that your elderly family member is adhering to their medication regimen, and thereby be able to relate that to their doctor. While some may be able to remember their medications on their own, it is important that you have someone remind them every day and make sure they take the medication in the event that forgetfulness sets in unexpectedly. 

Hygiene Resolutions 
Hygiene can become increasingly difficult to manage as an elderly person. Loss of maneuverability, flexibility, and energy can all severely impact their ability to maintain a daily routine of self-care. Installing a handheld showerhead as well as a shower seat can make showering less energy-consuming for them and allow them to more thoroughly clean themselves.

Another consideration that you’ll have could be with denture care. Even the best-kept teeth aren’t indestructible, and teeth eventually suffer decay with age. Many elderly people require dentures or other devices that younger, healthier people wouldn’t think about in a daily self-care routine. Make sure to regularly check their dentures to ensure that they are clean and have not been warped or damaged. 

Denture repair may become necessary with use, and unless you check the dentures yourself, you may not find out that they are damaged. Many elderly people who are living with their children will withhold information like this to avoid feeling like a burden or from simple embarrassment, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that all of their care materials are maintained. 

Importance of Nutrition 
Many elderly people fail to get proper nutrition. Whether this is because they are unable to cook for themselves, or because their body isn’t absorbing nutrients as efficiently, it’s important to communicate with their doctor to ensure that you are providing them with regular meals and the necessary supplements.

Encourage your elderly family member to join you for family mealtime so that the effort of eating doesn’t seem as tiresome to them. Social interaction is important for the elderly and is a great motivator for them to keep their health up.

There are lots of problems that you’ll have to tackle when you move an elderly family member into your home. Before they visit, you’ll definitely want to talk to their doctor to see what their needs are and get professional advice on how to meet them. These factors discussed are just some of the basic considerations to keep in mind, and will get you well started in your efforts to making your home a safe place for your parent.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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