How to help your aging parents maintain their independence
It is no secret that as we age, we slow down, and certain things become more difficult. Of course, we hate seeing our parents lose a step, but it doesn't signal an end to their daily activities; it just means that they may need a little more help here and there. If your family is working through this transition period, you may wonder what you can do to help care for the people who once cared for you. The good news is that there are many ways that you can help aging parents keep a high quality of life.
One of the most basic yet essential things you can do to help your parents is to keep open communication lines. Let them know what you see and how you feel about their capabilities, and listen to what they say. Having open and honest conversations with your parents will ensure that you are on the same page with where they are in life and key you into other ways you will be able to help them.
Retrofit Their House
If mobility is an issue, there are so many products that help. Technology has come so far, and you can turn even an older house into a high-tech oasis that even the technology-phobic can use. For instance, smart assistants can be used to do everything from adjusting the thermostat to turning off the lights and even calling for help. In addition, a chair lift will help conquer the stairs, and walk-in tubs make hygiene easy. While some of these changes come with a significant price tag, most are affordable and can be done in one day.
Hire a Home Health Aide
If your aging parents need more hands-on help, but distance or responsibilities make it challenging to offer that help, you can hire a home health aide. These wonderful and caring individuals treat your parents with the same kindness and dignity that you would while giving them stimulating interaction. Home Health Aides aren't meant to make your parents feel like their home is being transformed into a nursing home. Instead, these trained professionals are there to help your parents with their activities of daily living so they can remain independent in their own homes. Elite Home Health Care will match you with a home health aide you trust with your parent's needs.
Sometimes keeping your parents independent can be as simple as moving things around the house. For example, if they have trouble climbing stairs, it may be time to move their bedroom downstairs. Likewise, if your parent has issues with reaching above their head, maybe dishes need to be moved to lower cupboards. As long as these adjustments remain safe, there is no reason why they can't be done.
Get Them to Exercise
One of the most significant challenges facing older populations as they age is a lack of mobility. Even light exercise can do wonders to keep adults mobile and independent. Encourage your parents to join a gym, or at the very least, get out and walk around the block daily. A home health aide can also help to ensure that they do their exercises safely in their homes.
Maintaining Dignity and Care
Just because your parents are getting older doesn't mean they have to be confined to a rocking chair in a nursing home. The wonders of technology and modern medicine have made it so much easier for aging populations to maintain their independence and continue living in a place where they feel safe and comfortable. In some instances, all they will need is a little help remembering their medicine or tidying up, which is where a home health aide can come into play. Win-win situations are rare in life, but having a trusted home health aide like the ones you can find through Elite Home Health Care may be all you need to get the peace of mind you want while giving your parents the independence and dignity they need.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.