Helping Your Parents Remain Independent At Home

June 9, 2017 · Posted in Family 

If you’re having a growing concern about how your parents are getting by through daily life as they age, you’re not alone. Millions of adult children are caring for their elderly parents or assisting with their home care rather than placing them in a medical care facility. There are many resources available to help you, and some available at little to no cost. Here are just a few ways that you can help your parents to retain their independence and stay in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Make Their Home More Accessible

Keeping your parent at home and out of a nursing facility starts with having an accessible home for ease of use and maneuverability. This may include a:

It can be as simple as ordering the right durable medical equipment or completing revamping and moving a bedroom downstairs for easy access. Start by asking a home care agency to come out and evaluate your parents’ needs within the home. In addition to possibly qualifying for home care services, the home care specialist will recommend the proper adjustments that you should make to make the home more accessible.

Hire A Home Care Agency

Is your parent mobile, but still has some concerns with memory or needs some additional help around the house? A home care agency may be a good option. Home care helps to assist elderly or disabled people with their ADLs or activities of daily living. This may include:

  • *Bathing and cleaning
  • *Dressing
  • *Transfer assist
  • *Continence issues

Some home care agencies also help with medical care. A certified nurse’s aid or nurse can come to your parent’s home and help keep track of vital signs, monitor medical conditions and make recommendations for further medical care. An interdisciplinary team that includes your loved one’s primary care doctor, a nurse, social worker and health care aid will coordinate the right care that your parent needs to live independently at home.

Be Proactive With Their Medical Care

Making sure that your parent is as healthy as possible is vital. The first step in being proactive with their medical care is to join them at their next medical appointment. With permission from your parent, ask questions about how their health may affect their care at home. The physician may recommend supervision or special accompaniments for your parent’s disability if they have one. It’s important to know about changes to medications as well as possible side effects that could affect their health in any way. Knowing these facts makes it easier for you to decide the level of care your loved one needs around the clock and any possible red flags to look for.

Connect With A Social Worker

One way to have access to resources and open lines of communication is to reach out for the services that a social worker has to offer. Your first step in getting in touch with a social worker can be through your loved one’s physician. They can make a referral to an agency that will start the evaluation process. From there, your social worker will set up an interview for an evaluation of you and your family’s emotional and physical needs. This is beneficial for:

  • *Coordinating any needed transportation to doctor appointments
  • *Finding respite care through an agency or by volunteers
  • *Getting the right durable medical equipment in the home
  • *Locating financial resources that your parents may be lacking or in need of

Your social worker can also help your loved one coordinate medical and social appointments. She may also be able to help direct you to a counseling resource that can help with daily stress and other issues.

Utilizing multiple resources is the best way to make sure that your parents are comfortable and thriving in their own home environment.

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