Your parents will likely be set on remaining independent in their own home for as long as possible. You can help them achieve their goal by making their lives that little bit easier, manageable, and safer. If you’re concerned for their welfare, but they’re still relatively active and able, then visit their home to see where some safety alterations might need to be made, such as removing falling hazards and installing a stairlift. If you’re more seriously concerned, then look into the possibility of having carers visit them once or twice a day to ensure that everything is as it should be. Below are four ways you can build a safe environment for your parents in their home:
Make The Bathroom Accessible
The bathroom can pose a serious risk to those who’ve lost their ability to move around freely. For older adults, falling can have serious health implications, so it’s crucial to ensure that the bathroom space is as safe as possible. First, you should think about installing a walk-in bath, walk-in shower, or wet room if your elderly parents are experiencing problems with washing and lowering themselves in, and getting out of, the bathtub. Click here to find out more about making these safety adjustments and making your elderly parent’s home safer.
Organise The Kitchen
Cooking and preparing meals can be a struggle for older adults, especially if they have to reach up to high cupboards to get what they need. Try and solve this by labelling cupboards and having a main cupboard where the utensils and cutlery they use the most are all stored away at torso height. Remove surplus items that they don’t use anymore, like baking equipment. Eliminate further risk by discarding the likes of old mugs, electric knives, and gas hobs. Your parents might need additional help with cleaning the kitchen, so either volunteer to lend a hand every couple of days or hire a cleaner to take care of some of the housekeeping.
Meals On Wheels
Consider organising for meals to be delivered to your parents on a daily basis, which they can store them in the fridge or freezer. Have a look around before deciding, as you need to ensure that your parents will get their calorific needs in each meal and that what they’re eating is tasty and enjoyable. If they’re still keen to cook for themselves but aren’t able to get to the shops very often, then do a weekly shop for them and get them a simple and easy-to-follow recipe book to keep in the kitchen.
Keep Them Company
Chronic loneliness, as frequently experienced by the elderly living in their own homes, is thought to increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Other problems include, but are not limited to, having high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, and sleep problems. Pop over to their house and keep them company for an afternoon or two a week, and encourage them to meet new people in the neighbourhood by taking them to events held by the council, for example. If you’re unable to visit them as often as you’d like, then keep in contact via the use of the phone, email, and even letter writing.