May 2, 2016
What To Do When Your Aging Parents Insist On Living Independently
There comes a time in every family’s life when it’s important to talk about the various living options that its aging parents have.
In some cases, especially where widows or widowers are involved, transitioning from a family home to a nursing home is a warmly welcomed change.
In other cases, families will find that aging parents simply do not want to move out of the home they spent years making their own. This then becomes a battle because when the elderly live alone and unsupervised, it’s rather exhausting for their children to constantly worry about whether or not they’re ok.
With old age comes the natural decline of motor and memory skills, making once simple tasks difficult milestones to accomplish.
If you’re wondering how to help your elderly parents feel more independent living in their home, here are a few home improvement tips that might help:
Install handle bars where necessary
Stepping in and out of bathtubs can be rather difficult past a certain age. The height and wetness of the tub combined makes the bathroom one of the most dangerous areas in the home for the elderly.
That’s why it’s important to provide them with bars that help them balance their weight as they step in and out of the tub. There are quite a few different types of handle bars to choose from; most of which you can learn about here!
Lowering and lifting oneself out of bed can also be quite difficult as time takes its toll on the body. That’s why bed rails are also a good idea to pass on to your parents.
Make amenities more accessible
Remember when I told you that bathrooms are the site of most falls/accidents the elderly endure? If handle bars won’t do enough to help your parents stay safe in there, consider investing in alternative solutions. Perhaps you can keep a chair in the shower so they don’t have to stand for too long, open the tub sink so it can become a walk-in for them, etc.
Do your parents use walkers or wheelchairs? Adding a disability ramp to their home will make it easier for them to go in and out of their home comfortably.
This goes along with my earlier point about parents using wheel chairs or walkers. If they need such equipment, then the standard door size may not be wide enough for them to easily fit through, so it might be a good idea to invest in widening their entry-ways.
Install a home security system
Smart home security systems like Piper not only alert you when motion or sound is detected in your home from a fall, break-in, etc., they also keep a close eye on your home’s vitals and let you know when something’s not right. This can include a blown out furnace, freezing pipes, you name it & Piper has probably helped a user through it.
Some elderly people experience sleepwalking and general dementia that leaves them wandering their home and sometimes even leaving it at night. In cases like this, you can pair Piper with door/window sensors so that you can be notified the moment any doors or windows have been opened. That way you’ll be the first to know if your parent is having an episode in the middle of the night.
Install a stair lift
Does your parents’ home have a large and straight stair case? You might be able to install a stair lift in their home. Stair lifts are beneficial for people who suffer from weaknesses caused by arthritis and other conditions that effect mobility.
Losing independence is not easy for your aging parents, and allowing them the space to take care of themselves may not be easy for you either, but perhaps these tips will help you both feel more comfortable.
A few of these renovations are tax deductable as well, so make sure to do your research when planning out the various ways you can make your parents’ home more accessible!
Have any more safety tips for seniors? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!