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How to Keep Your Ageing Parents Safe at Home

• Written by @Lifeline24

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This article was contributed by Andrea Gibbs of SpringHive

As a caregiver, you want to do all you can to keep your ageing parent safe. This includes several things, such as installing new locks and smoke detectors in their home and keeping them well-fed. Still, it also means allowing them to maintain their independence.

Making sure they can stay independent is essential to their well-being, which is why it's important to keep them safe. If you don't, you'll soon find yourself dealing with someone who stops showering regularly or doesn't cook for themselves.

That means that you're asking yourself if you're doing enough to keep them safe. Are things going as planned? This can be difficult to know due to the responsibilities that come with caring for an ageing parent. Here are some tips for looking after your ageing parents.

Schedule Regular Visits

Scheduling regular visits with your ageing parent is a great way to monitor their safety. Make sure that you plan regular visits at least once a week, or even more often if you feel it necessary.

Visits should fit their timetable, not yours. If your parent is busy in the morning and evening, but has time in the afternoon, schedule one or two sessions around lunchtime so they don't feel rushed.

Double-Check Their Meds

If you have an ageing parent who need regular medical care, you might be worried about whether they are taking their medication properly. Medication errors can lead to serious health problems, so your loved one must take the proper medication at the right time of day.

Here are some tips for checking upon them:

  1. Make sure they are taking the correct medication and dosage. Make sure they are taking the proper medication and dosage. You can also monitor their health by having them take a pill review with their doctor if they aren't feeling well.
  2. Make sure they are taking their medications around the right times of day. Surprisingly, many people forget to take their pills at the correct times of day. This can lead to severe health problems - don't let it happen to your loved one.
  3. Check with the doctor if you are not sure what to do. You will most likely have more questions if your loved one isn't feeling well. Therefore, it may help to talk to their doctor to find out what is happening.

Review Their Groceries

It is also a good idea to check the groceries that your loved one is receiving to ensure they are adequately fed. It might seem small, but if they aren't taking care of their diet their health could suffer. To ensure that your parents' groceries are safe to consume, check the following:

  1. Look for expiration dates on perishable items. Make sure perishable items stay in their best condition for a minimum of five days, or even longer if you want to be extra safe.
  2. Check for spoilage or non-perishables (such as canned goods, meats, and condiments). Throw out anything that has been damaged.
  3. Make sure all of the product packaging is intact. The more sanitary the packaging, the less likely anything will go wrong.
  4. Check for insects, rodents, etc., and throw out anything that appears to be tainted or contaminated.
  5. Check for any unusual discoloration (pink spots etc.) and throw out anything that looks off.

Make Sure They Have Insurance

It's essential you make sure your ageing parent has the right insurance. Insurance policies can be tricky - there are so many options, and they're constantly changing. You may want to talk to an agent who can explain all the different insurance policies available and help you compare them by price, coverage, and more.

The best thing you can do for your ageing parent is to get them insured at a young age. The earlier they get insured, the more time those policies have to accrue cash value that will pay out when it comes time to collect (assuming these policies have not already been paid in full). Additionally, if your loved one needs long-term care someday down the line, having money saved up for this purpose will make things easier for everyone involved.

Install Home Safety Equipment

Fall prevention is a severe issue for the elderly, and your ageing parent can easily find themselves in danger if they aren't following proper safety precautions. To help your loved one stay safe around the house and avoid potential injuries, you should consider installing the following home safety equipment.

  • Alarms - For peace of mind around the home, a motion activated alarm could help to detect uninvited guests on your loved one's property. Alternatively, a personal alarm like those provided by Lifeline24 could allow your ageing parent to request help at the press of a button.
  • Window Guards - These prevent your parent from accidentally falling through open windows by creating barriers that prevent them opening wider than four inches. They're easy to install and maintain as long as they remain in good condition - just keep them clean and free of debris so they'll work properly.
  • Handrails - Handrails are available in many styles, heights, and materials (plastic, wood, metal, etc.) to help your ageing parent avoid tripping when they're walking around the house. It can also help keep them safe by giving them something to lean on if they feel unwell.
  • Video Surveillance - A good video surveillance system can drastically improve peace of mind. If there is an accident, a video surveillance system could help to establish the facts. It may even prove useful if your loved one has to claim of their insurance.

Help Them Craft a Crisis Plan

It's important to have a plan to help you and your parent manage crises. A crisis plan can help everyone involved in an emergency. You don't have to write up a lengthy, complicated document for this; instead, you can make it as simple as possible. An example of a crisis plan includes the following information:

  1. Contact information for family members and other caregivers
  2. Contact information for medical professionals and emergency services
  3. A list of important medical data, such as medications
  4. Medical history (recent surgeries, medical conditions, etc.)
  5. Medical resources - contact information for organisations and services that could be helpful in an emergency
  6. Insurance information and any other coverage information (e.g. your parent's life insurance policy)

Always Be There For Them

If your ageing parent is sick, there is no better feeling than knowing that you are by their side to get them back to normal. Your presence provides comfort and a sense of security, and you can be sure that your parent is getting the attention they need. If your family member is in the hospital, ask the nurses or doctors if there's anything you can do to assist them in their care. Your loved one will appreciate it, as they may not have anyone else who can do so.

Consider The Location

Sometimes, you may find that your loved ones would be better off in a new home. If moving does seem to be the best option to keep them safe, consider the following factors.

  • Is there easy access to public transport?
  • Will they be near a hospital or GP surgery?
  • Are there a variety of shops and food outlets in the area?
  • Will their home receive adequate amounts of daylight?
  • Are there stairs, and can your loved one cope with them?
  • Is the property in good condition, meeting all safety requirements?

Remember that all these factors are important to consider as you, your ageing parent, and family members are trying to make the best living arrangements possible.

Conclusion

It is crucial you have a plan when it comes to caring for your ageing parent. Making the right decisions about which services are needed will help avoid potential problems in the future. Making sure your parent is cared for regardless of the situation is important for making the best choices for them.

Lifeline24

You can provide additional support for your ageing loved ones by purchasing a Lifeline24 personal alarm. With a personal alarm, help is arranged at the push of a button. Lifeline24 also offer a fall detector plan for added peace of mind. Find out more today and get in touch with our helpful team on 0800 999 0400 to order your Lifeline24 alarm.

Author Bio

Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, a company that offers web design services, maintenance, and Internet marketing. She specialises in content marketing, social media, and SEO. She also serves as a blog contributor at Serenity Senior Care. She's an avid personal development enthusiast and an expert in the field of health and fitness. When she's not writing she can be found running hills or hiking trails, rooting for her favourite team (the Pittburgh Steelers), or watching a good Netflix series.

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