Home Care: Aging in place may be your parents’ goal, but is it feasible?
It’s important to sit down with your parents and discuss home care and the things they need to age at home in an independent, safe manner. Use the checklist in this simple guide to aging in place to help with decision-making.
Your Parents’ Home Needs to Be Safe
If your parents don’t have a rail on the stairs to the basement, it’s not safe. Someone needs to have one installed. You should go through their house and look for other safety issues.
As they age, your parents should have bright lighting in all areas of the home. If the entryway from the garage isn’t well-lit, it’s time to change the light fixture. There are flush-mount LED lights with settings that allow you to change the brightness, these can help make sure an entire hallway is lit up.
Check that the bathrooms have grab bars near and in the shower or bathtub. There should be grab bars near the toilet. If the bathroom is long and narrow, adding combination grab bars and towel racks can give your parents something to hold as they walk to the door.
The flooring has to be secure. If there is loose, curled carpeting, it could trip your parents and cause a fall. If there are loose decorative rugs on a hardwood floor, they need to be removed. Broken or loose tiles are a problem. If wood or laminate flooring has bowed, it can also increase the risk of a fall.
Finally, look over the house for fall hazards like loose electrical cords that are in areas your parents walk. Furniture that juts out into the normal walking area is also problematic.
Know the Activities of Daily Living
The easiest way to determine your parents’ needs when it comes to home care is by going over the activities of daily living. If they’re struggling with several of these things, it’s a good time to address hiring caregivers to help out.
- Applying skin cream and personal care products as needed
- Arranging appointments and completing forms and paperwork
- Brushing and flossing teeth
- Brushing and styling hair
- Cleaning, dusting, changing sheets and doing the laundry
- Communicating with others
- Cooking and eating meals
- Driving a car or arranging transportation
- Getting showered and dressed
- Ordering prescription refills and taking medications as advised
- Paying bills
- Shopping for groceries and household items
- Using the toilet without help
- Walking around the house, businesses, the yard, and up and down stairs independently
When there are things your parents can’t do at all or need to rely on family members for help, those are the areas of home care that can help out. Talk to your parents about how often these tasks are done in their home. They probably shower daily, which means they’d need help each day. Grocery shopping may only be a weekly task.
Home Care: Conclusion
Once you have a full list of the help your parents need from a home care agency, call to discuss prices and schedules. Soon, they’ll have home care aides making sure the house is clean, meals and snacks are available, and transportation is there when they need it.