Watching your parent grow old is not a happy sight, because no child is looking forward to their parents becoming helpless, sick and frustrated with their inability to live their lives like they used to. However, getting old is a natural part of life and there’s no stopping it. What you can do for your aging parent is ensuring their senior years are happy and safe. Here’s how to secure their home, room, backyard and money so they can continue to enjoy life instead of fear it.
Provide them with balance
Falls are the number one cause of injury, hospital admission and injury-related death in people over the age of 65. The most common reasons why senior people fall is poor vision, declining physical condition, medication and obstacles at home that can cause slips, trips and bumps (loose carpeting, bad lighting, etc.). Luckily, many falls at home can be prevented with sticky tapes under area rugs, regular decluttering, placing rubber stickers on the bathroom floor and installing grab bars on the walls. You can also surprise your parent with a cozy pair of non-slip slippers or house shoes for Christmas or Birthday.
Install a ramp
With age, stairs become your biggest enemy. Getting up and down the stairs is difficult when you’re older, especially if you went through surgery or experience certain medical issues. For people living with Parkinson’s, arthritis or osteoporosis, stairs can seriously limit their world. So try to install ramps at your parent’s property to make it easier to get in or out of the house. Make sure to provide their ramp with a sturdy handrail and a non-slip surface to additionally improve safety. With a ramp, your parent will feel confident getting out and about which can reduce isolation and ensure they get more fresh air and physical activity.
Invest in a few gadgets
Many seniors don’t really like technology and innovations but with some training, these new gadgets can improve their lives. When it comes to safety, tech gadgets like smart doorbells and home security alarms are the best solution since they deter burglars and give everyone living inside peace of mind (especially important if your parent lives alone). Since seniors are frequent targets for burglars, these gadgets will come in handy. If your parent is mobile and loves to do their own easy errands, make sure to surprise them with a stylish metal minimalist wallet for their cards and cash. These models are not only small and fit into every hand and pocket, but also come with wireless theft protection so no one can scan their cards in passing and steal their money.
Provide them with mobility aids
Walking sticks, frames and hearing aids are a great help when it comes to preventing accidents. Hearing aids provide internal balance (if they are used correctly) and sticks and frames provide external balance—they are a great team. To further improve your parent’s mobility, set them up with a personal alarm that will alert you or medical services in case of a fall or accident. This way, your parent can move around and go about their day knowing they are safe in case something happens.
Ensure outdoor safety
No matter if your parent is dealing with mobility issues or not, uneven terrain is probably an obstacle for them. Even small bumps or grass patches can cause trips and slips. So make sure their outdoor area is safe and accessible, especially the driveway, patio and garden. If you notice any damage on sidewalks in your parent’s neighborhood, alert the authorities and urge them to get it fixed, so your parent can do errands and socialize outdoors safely.
Allow them to take the lead
Lastly, it’s great that you’re trying to help, but don’t be overbearing. It’s always best to help out your parent with certain tasks instead of completely taking over—your parents need to retain some independence. Allowing them to take the lead on certain tasks will benefit their self-esteem and keep their functions working. If you completely take over all chores, this will not only drain all your energy, but also result in a swift decline of your parent’s physical and mental functions, so focus on more independence.
As their kids, we would do anything possible to ensure our parents are living with dignity during their senior years. With a few of these safety tricks, you can rest peacefully knowing your aging parent is safe, sound and happy.
This guest post was graciously provided by Diana Smith. Diana is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in alternative medicine and latest DIY projects. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.