Ever since dad died your elderly mother has lived alone in the house you grew up in. At first mom was fine, but lately something’s changed. She looks tired and frail, the house is a mess and there’s never enough food in the fridge. It’s reached the point that you’re worried about her health and wellbeing. Knowing when it’s time for an aging in place senior to give up their independence can be difficult. Using these guidelines should help make the decision-making process go more smoothly.
Challenges Associated with Growing Older
No matter how well a person takes care of themselves as they age physical, emotional and mental changes are inevitable. Some of the challenges that seniors face while growing older include:
- Hearing loss
- Decreased flexibility, agility and mobility
- Higher risk for falling and bone fractures
- Poor eyesight
- Weakened immune system
- Social isolation
- Less physical and mental endurance
- Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis
All these changes can affect a senior’s ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs). Once those limitations reach a certain point it threatens their ability to live independently.
The Benefits of Aging in Place
On the other hand, aging in place benefits seniors in these ways:
- More comfortable and private than other living arrangements
- Costs less than an assisted living facility or nursing home
- Helps prevent or slow the progression of memory loss
- Strengthens social networks
- Gives them more control over life decisions
Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs
Here are several factors to consider when deciding if your loved one can still live on their own:
Are they able to bathe, wash their hair or get dressed? If not, how much daily assistance is needed to perform those essential activities? Possible sources of personal care assistance include family members, close friends or a paid, in-home “personal assistant”.
Can your loved one still go grocery shopping, prepare meals and wash dishes? Are they getting the daily nutrients that their body needs? If you or other family members don’t have time to prepare meals, other options include help from a meal delivery service, senior center or place of worship. Many grocery stores now offer online ordering and to-the-door deliveries.
Does your loved one need help with household chores like cleaning, laundry or yardwork? If so, hire them a housecleaning or yardwork service. To simplify things, find a housekeeper that also does laundry.
If your senior just got out of the hospital Medicare may pay for them to have home care or home healthcare until they get back on their feet. Are they having trouble taking their medications as prescribed or getting them refilled on time? An online pharmacy like PillPack can provide both medication management and delivery services.
Does your loved one still drive? If not, find them a ride-sharing service or family member that can take them to their social activities, medical appointments and exercise classes. Other options for getting around include public transportation or community volunteers. Check out the local Eldercare Locator for more details.
Financial scammers and creditors frequently prey on the elderly. Protect your loved one by helping them set up automatic bill payments and Social Security check deposits through their bank. Help them avoid fraud by keeping their account numbers and personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
Plan ahead for medical emergencies by getting your senior a medical alert device, encouraging them to draw up an advanced healthcare directive, and getting written permission to speak to their healthcare providers.
Keep them safer by modifying their home environment. Some of the most dangerous areas of the home for seniors include stairways, the kitchen and bathroom.
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home
Helping an elderly loved one remain independent can be overwhelming at times. When you need a hand contact First In Care. While serving as an extended family in the home our compassionate caregivers will provide the nurturing your loved one deserves so they can continue aging safely and comfortably in place right where they want to be.
Our family trusted services in Manatee County, FL, include companionship care, personal care, respite care, medication reminders, transportation and even 24-hour care. As a fully licensed home care agency our professionals use a unique caregiving approach that’s designed to maintain your loved one’s dignity, independence and self-esteem. To learn more about First In Care now please visit: www.firstincare.com!