How Adult Children Can Help Their Parents Age at Home
Studies have found that upwards of 90% of seniors wish to age at home. For their adult children, this can be worrying. You’re wondering about their health, home maintenance, and social isolation. That’s understandable, but there are services and tools available to help. After all, if they will be happiest at home, that will positively impact their overall wellbeing in the long run, but it needs to be done right.
To keep your aging parent living at home safely and happily, we recommend taking a look at their lifestyle, mobility levels, and home setup; and making arrangements accordingly.
For starters, assess your parent’s mobility levels. Mobility plays a huge role in how we get through the day. From being able to move about the house to being able to tidy up or go to the grocery store, how much they can move and how much effort it takes can have a profound impact on their social, psychological, and physical state.
If mobility is an issue, there are ways to work to improve their levels of activity. In the meantime though, set them up for success. Services such as grocery delivery and home cleaning will help. But in order to ensure they are maintaining social relationships, a transportation service may also be needed.
A major concern for those who wish to age at home is that they will become socially isolated and housebound. If you live close by, set up a regular visiting schedule among the family. These can range from quick visits to family dinners. Be sure to keep visits regular, and try not to miss them.
However, your parents will need social interaction outside of family ties as well. Friends play an important role in our levels of overall happiness and health at any age. Set your parents up with a platform such as Amintro to help them meet other like-minded people in their community. Amintro facilitates friendships for those fifty plus looking to lead a socially engaged life.
Do any changes need to be made to the home in order to make it safer or easier for your parent(s) to live alone? Walk-in bathtubs, railings, raised toilet seats, furniture arrangement, height of cupboards, these are all things that need to be taken into consideration when planning out the house. Do a walk through the home and see if there are any areas that should be rearranged or might need a makeover.
Ensuring medication is taken as prescribed can be of great concern for adult children. Luckily, there are many medication management systems available. This article highlights a lot of great options. If you’re worried about falls or medical emergencies, a medical alert device offers peace of mind. And if you are concerned about cognitive decline, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is a wonderful resource.
Finally, maintain an open and honest dialogue with your parents. Listen to them, their thoughts and feelings, and mention any concerns you may have. Keep the conversation positive and the lines of communication open. Have a plan in place for down the road, in the event of any major health changes. This way your parents know they have a say in the matter and will feel more confident moving forward.
Written by Christine Tompa for Amintro, the social app for those fifty plus.