Caring For Aging Parents

Of the many and perhaps most important decisions you will need to make regarding elder care for a loved one in their home or yours is how to resolve safety issues and avoid accidents. As time goes by you may find that how to preserve personal independence ranks nearly as high in importance as safety. No longer being able to care for their own needs can be very distressing for some seniors, and the danger of depression, which can make everything else worse, is always there.

Anything you can find to enhance independence is worth looking into, and one of those things are stairlifts if you have an upper story or a lot of steps leading up to your home from the outside. Having unlimited access to all areas of the home, including outdoors is an incredible morale booster, with a bonus for everyone. Your worries about falls on steps would be over, and pain or low energy would no longer be so confining to your elder loved one. Your decision to care for an aging parent is admirable, but in all honesty, the more content they are, the happier you will all be.

You Will Need A “Plan of Action”

Your parents may not need the same level of attention as others, or they may need more so the first step should be a discussion with their medical care team. Once you know what will be required or expected of you, making decisions with confidence is much easier. Daily life can be put in the order it needs to be for the safety, security, and comfort of your elder. When aging elders come to live with you or need light to medium care in their own home, yet you must continue to work, don’t panic, help isn’t far. There are a multitude of options and providers ready to support you with services such as the following.

  • Phone Service – Calls are made to ensure all is well with your elder and that they take their meds on time. Often combined with equipment able to alert medical professionals in an emergency, this service is invaluable for peace of mind when you can’t be there.
  • In Home Care – Caregivers visit the patient’s home and perform simple tasks which include errands or chores. Licensed caregivers are required for more intensive care such as bathing and visiting nurses are available to help administer medications if needed. For your elder to continue living in the comfort of their own home, this type of care is beyond price.

Keep in mind that not all providers are as reputable as they claim. A caregiver may put on a very good appearance but that doesn’t mean they know their job as well as they should. If your elder is unable to communicate you might never know. Not much can hide from the internet so checking online references should suffice. Be aware that researching job performance should be easy and if you have any difficulty locating a person online, consider that a red flag and move on to your next choice.

High Tech Meets Eldercare

Longer life spans are more common than they used to be thanks to modern medicine and advances in technology, which allow our elders to enjoy “Aging in Place.” Many seniors living at home today wouldn’t have been able to before smart devices and the internet combined to make it happen. From voice-activated devices to live remote monitoring of patients, so much more is now possible, and your elder doesn’t need to be a tech genius to take advantage of any of it. Following is only a small sample of what’s out there right now.

  • CaringBridge – This care coordination app is meant for iPhones or iPads and synchronized to a website. During a health crisis, family or friends can log on and get current information plus let others know when they will be available to help.
  • GrandCARE – Is a social engagement tool that enables housebound elders to enjoy live video chats with familiar faces, so they feel a little less alone. Or they can use the large touchscreen to watch the news, play games, and surf the internet for entertainment.

In the past (pre-internet era), nursing homes were the only choice a working family had for their beloved elders, but those days are long gone. Eldercare technology and “Aging in Place” are the new norm, and the day isn’t far off when total automation of a home’s systems will be tied in. Even now, sensors are available for refrigerators that will let you know if your elder is eating as they should when you’re not there. If that’s life now, imagine the possibilities in the future.

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About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a tech loving, video game playing, pr friendly single mom / gramma blogger who talks about life with a teen daughter, an adult son, a toddler granddaughter and all that it entails. Subscribe to A Hen's Nest for giveaways, delicious family recipes, reviews and more!

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