Caring for an elderly parent or relative is something that few look forward to preparing for. Yet, some preparation and planning in advance can make becoming a caregiver for an elderly relative easier and less stressful for you and for them. Here are some things that may make the transition easier and less stressful:
1. Home Modifications for Security and Safety
You’ll likely need to make some home modifications to make areas like the bathroom, kitchen, stairways or basement safe enough for Mom or Dad to navigate on their own. There are many sources of information available on this subject, including this helpful article, which provides a survey of questions to get you started. You also may consider consulting a specialist from the National Association of Home Builders who can recommend making special changes to increase their security and safety.
2. Financial Protection and Security
The elderly are often the targets of scams and phony investment schemes. Make sure to discuss finances regularly and often. It also is advised to monitor credit on a regular basis so that any issues can be caught and remedied quickly. More information about how to obtain a free credit report is available from the Federal Trade Commission.
3. Social Connections to Keep Them Engaged
While you may be busy with your life and the kids with theirs, Grandma or Grandpa may be getting really lonely and sad, especially after the loss of a spouse. Interaction with others can help them stay alert and aware, as well as improving mood and staving off depression. Participating in volunteer activities or joining an organization, like Senior Corps can help keep the elderly keep in touch with mainstream society in ways that are best suited to their age. And depending on where you live, free transportation may be available for elder residents under government-subsidized programs.
4. Small Everyday Touches to Show You Care
Finally, when elderly parents or relative are living at home, it is easy to get caught up in the mundane and routine. However, small touches, like fresh flowers in Mom’s room on Sunday, using our SmartSeat Chair Protectors to save Mom or Dad from the embarrassment of staining your dining room chairs due to a shaky hand or incontinence, having lunch together at your favorite café or giving the kids a day out with Grandpa go a long way in brightening up their days and showing them how much you care.
Yes, caring for an elderly parent or relative at home does require a bit of planning and preparation to make their stay as safe and comfortable as possible while keeping you stress-free as well.
Questions about housekeeping when you have an elderly relative living with you at home? Join the Smart Seat Chair Protector community on Facebook and Twitter, and share your entertaining and housekeeping challenges – we’ll be happy to offer you our solutions and tips!