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Caring for the Elderly at Home

If your elderly parent or parents are living on their own, they may need some assistance in maintaining their independence, staying safe, eating well, and enjoying their retirement.

As an adult child, there is much you can do to ensure the safety and happiness of your elderly parents. If you live a distance from your parents or cannot call in on a daily basis due to time constraints, it may be time to look at getting a professional carer. Not only can carers help with personal care and caring for the elderly but they can also provide companionship and remind them to take their medication.

Here are suggestions for caring for the elderly in their own homes:

  • Prevent the risk of falls by eliminating hazards. Hazards can include items left on the floor, poor lighting on the stairs or slippers that are too large and falling off their feet. Carers can do a daily check and tidy up to ensure the minimisation of hazards.
  • Regular exercise keeps joints supple and helps to prevent falls. Part of the companionship role can include going for a daily walk together.
  • Keep frequently used items close to hand. Avoid putting things in high cupboards where someone needs steps to access them.
  • Install a grab rail beside the bath and toilet.
  • Remove small rugs as they can slide under a person’s feet.
  • There should be good external lighting outside the back and front doors, particularly if there are steps there.
  • Ensuring that the older person is eating nutritious meals – maybe using Meals on Wheels as an alternative to cooking themselves.
  • Ensure the house is warm, avoiding extremes of cold.

Comfort Keepers and caring for the elderly

Comfort Keepers will also involve the professional carer, the family and the client in all decisions so it is very much a team and combined decision regarding future care. It can happen than an older person is initially resistant to having a carer coming into the home, seeing it as a threat to their independence or seeing visits as an invasion of their privacy.

However, frustration or worry, particularly if they are becoming isolated, can lead to depression in the long term. We train our carers to help their clients acclimatise to the changes in their lives, so introducing a home carer to the routine a couple of times a week can be the best choice for adult children struggling to care for elderly parents.

On the other hand, parents may be relieved to have the subject broached. Perhaps they were getting worried about their increasing inability to do all the tasks they could once do singlehanded but didn’t want to admit to their shortcomings in case they have to go into a nursing home sooner rather than later.

It can be difficult for adult children too to come to terms with the fact that the roles have been reversed. And that it is now their turn to care for their elderly parents rather than the other way round. Comfort Keepers home carers and client care managers will make recommendations to the family and help them acclimatise to the changes too. With care and attention, it is very possible for elderly parents to maintain their independence and stay living at home for many years.

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