As your parents start to age, you’re sure to be placed under a lot of pressure. Because they matter to you, it’s just fitting to want to give them the best care possible during their sunset years. Whether they’ll stay in their own homes or they’ll move in to yours, you’ll want to keep them safe, happy, healthy, and comfortable.
Taking care of elderly parents can seem like a daunting task to do. Above all the things you have to consider, safety should be a top priority. This can be a bit more challenging, given their physical limitations and other health issues.
If you’re faced with the responsibility of giving your elderly parents the best care, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Beef Up on Proper Information
First on this list entails that you undergo research and study. Naturally, you don’t have to go through a medical course or training to take care of your parents and ensure their safety. However, you may want to read up from valid and reputable sources online.
Beefing up on information regarding safety for the elderly can give you a boosted start. That way, you don’t have to feel like you’re stepping on uncharted territories when it comes to elderly care and safety. The more you know, the more confident you will be about providing a safe and healthy environment for your elderly parents.
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2. Remove Fall Hazards
One of the top causes of injuries for the elderly is fall hazards. This is expected, given the physical and biological changes the elderly go through. When you don’t live with your parents or you can’t offer your watchful eyes all the time, fall-proofing their homes is one way to ensure their safety. You can liken this process to babyproofing, except, in this case, the ones you’re trying to protect are the elderly.
You can achieve this by doing the following:
- Make sure your elderly parents always use nonslip footwear when inside the bathroom or any slippery area of the home.
- Remove throw rugs that don’t have any rubberized grip on the floor.
- Avoid having too many extension cords strewn across the floor.
3. Encourage Regular Exercise
This third tip is a proactive approach to discourage the fast physical decline of the elderly’s body. If your elderly parents haven’t been exercising lately, at least motivate them to do so. By encouraging regular exercise, they become physically active and are allowed to mingle with their fellow seniors if working out in groups. Better yet, have them join exercise classes and groups for the elderly. Some exercises for the elderly include water aerobics, brisk walking, and tai chi.
Engaging in regular exercise is the core strategy to keeping and maintaining the elderly’s balance. This way, their body will have enough strength to withstand rising slowly up and down after waking up, and sitting during meals. It can also maintain their lower body strength to still have the ability to walk around and go about their daily chores as they please.
4. Schedule Regular Checkups For Elderly Parents
The more religious your elderly parents are about their checkups, the better they can stay on top of their health. Remember that there’s no other better substitute to sound medical advice. Through physical examination and laboratory tests, any problem concerning their physical health can be detected early on.
This is very important as another proactive measure. For instance, without going to the doctor, you may not have known that your elderly parents’ bones are now weaker than they normally should be. Weak bones can affect balance and mobility. Hence, this also makes them more prone to accidents. Thus, their diet should be supplemented with more sources of calcium, including adult milk.
Because you’ve taken your elderly parents to their regular checkups, now you’re aware of their physical condition. This allows you to apply the necessary measures to avoid further weakening of the bones and to prevent trip and slip hazards at home.
5. Keep Emergency Numbers Ready
While you’ll want to be with your elderly parents all the time, this may not always be possible. You have a job to report to, a family to care for, and all other familial obligations you need to fulfill. So, in your absence, it’s a plus to know that your elderly parents are aware of who to ring in case of an emergency.
Go through all the local emergency numbers in their town. Print those in big, bold fonts, and stick them in different areas of their home. You’ll want to have one in the garage, the kitchen and dining area, their bedroom, and even the bathroom. Save those numbers on their mobile phones as well. That way, should an emergency arise, they don’t have to go to another room to get hold of the emergency numbers.
With these tips, do you now feel more confident that you can take in the load and responsibility of caring for your elderly parents? The experience may put you under a lot of anxiety. After all, the changes the elderly go through will also render them physically weaker and emotionally unstable. With the right resources and support, though, you’ll get used to it over time. Taking good care of your parents, ensuring their safety, and giving them the love they deserve in the prime years of their life should be an honor.