Caregiving to Safe Aging Parent Who Lives Alone
“There’s no place like home” is a popular phrase that often describes the comfort of a home. Being away from home for some time will make you desire to be home because “there is no place like home”. The same comfort, freedom and privacy in the home is what our aging parents desire too.
Safe Aging Parent in Place
Statistics show that 90 percent of seniors want to “age in place”. It means, if they have a choice, they want to spend their old age at their own home. However, this idea creates worry among the children. If the aging parents decided to stay home, it is a dilemma for the children. The decision whether to stay home or move to a facility should be made by both parties. It is the children’s responsibility to make sure that their parents are safe and secure. So, how are you going to decide? Will you go along with their decision to “age in place”? To come up with a decision, you should first find out if it is okay for your parents to live alone. You need to check some specific information before making decision.
Here are some helpful ideas to approach aging in place needs
- The care they need. It is important to check your parent’s physical and mental condition. Do they have chronic illness that needs medical attention and constant monitoring? If yes, then it is not safe for them to live alone. However, if they are still relatively healthy and independent, there is no reason for them to move to a facility.
- The assistance and supervision you can provide. To allow parents to live by themselves means you are near to give assistance and supervision when needed. It will be hard for an aging parents to live alone when children are living in a distance. A regular visit and monitoring will benefit them. Checking their needs and helping them to live comfortably will be appreciated.
- The safety of the house they live. The primary concern we need to address when we allow our parents to live alone is the safety. Our parents should be living a place where they do not have to climb stairs. The bathroom should not be slippery and doorway should be wide so accident can be avoided. Hand rails and wide pathway should be considered. In other words, make sure to modify the house for safety and security of the seniors. There are consultants who can help in this area.
- The neighborhood and community. It is also important that the neighborhood and the community they belong to are seniors-friendly. A good and friendly neighbor is an advantage. Also make sure that the community is not a high crime area. Make sure that in case of problems or emergencies, a good neighbor can help. The community itself should have easy access to hospitals, clinics, and the emergency response agencies.
- Gadgets and Communication Lines. Make sure that your parents are able to use technology of communications like cellphones or computer. It will help them a great deal if they are taught to use high-tech gadget to communicate in case of emergencies. For example, seniors are not fond of using cellphone, but it is necessary for the communication. So, make sure to convince them to use cellphone to be used in case they are away from the telephone lines. Today, a cellphone designed for seniors is available.
A thought of leaving home is detrimental to seniors. Not only that they will live in a strange place but also they will leave the comfort of their home and the company of their friends. The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is also providing a way for seniors to “age in place” through high technology gadgets and appliances intended for seniors. This way, the seniors can live at home with safety and security through the help of technology.