As we age inevitably our thoughts turn to facing the day when we may have to move our elderly parent /s into a Nursing Home. While most people dried the thought, there is much you can do to ensure they are able to remain in their own home for as long as possible, if not for always.
Some careful planning about your parents’ environment can enable them to remain there even when their health and / or their mobility decline.
1. HOME MODIFICATIONS
Think and plan about how things may need to change as your parents mobility and function decline. Most homes can be modified to accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, and even the use of a hoist if a person needs lifting in and out of bed. Double story houses can be fitted with motorized stair lifts to ensure your parents can still access the upstairs of the house, or alternatively a downstairs living area can be converted to a bedroom.
2. SOCIAL CONTACT
Maintaining social contact and activities is vital to your well being. Sadly this is often the first thing that stops when a persons health or function declines. It may become more difficult to get your parents to their activities you may need to assist them with transport or engage a formal support to accompany them on their outing.
3. RESPITE CARE
If one parent is caring for the other make sure there is planned, regular respite in place to give the carer a break. This will help them to maintain their own fitness and well being which in turn helps them to care for their partner.
Make sure your parent/s diet is nutritionally sound. Its true as we age some of us tend to eat much smaller meals and lose our appetite, but it is important to their health that they maintain their nutrition. Consider having some help to prepare meals or delivery or pre-cooked meals.
5. HEALTH CHECKS
Ensure their health is monitored by their GP. Having an understanding and supportive GP can make a bit difference, as early detection of any changes can prevent bigger health problems
6. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
The old saying 'move it or lose it' is true !! and becomes even more important in our later years. Its vital to maintain functional movement, as it will help to minimize or avoid falls.
7. USE OF TECHNOLOGY
There are numerous improvements to technology which can keep your parents at home and safer for longer. The use of in home monitoring for blood pressure, phone calls to check on your parents, emergency call systems are all now readily available. Example of Apps for Aged Care and Disability Support.