As our parents begin to get older, they might begin to find it harder to look after themselves in their own homes without help. When this happens, there are several options. Some families choose to move their parents into a retirement community or into their own homes, while others try to find ways for their parents to remain as independent as possible without having to move.
If your parents want to stay in their own homes, whether with help from professionals, help from you using Freedomcare, or independently, there are some important things to consider.
If your parents are taking any medication, it’s important that they are able to manage this. Do they remember to take the correct amount at the correct time? If you don’t know, there are clues you can look for. When you visit, look in their cabinets for medicines that have expired, or are being kept with no apparent system. Have they become ill after missed or multiple doses?
Are your parents still able to cook for themselves and manage to make healthy meals? Are they able to safely use their kitchen appliances? Look out for signs of missed meals, or kitchen mishaps like leaving the oven on, or forgetting food has been left in the microwave.
Safety And Mobility
Look out for signs that your parents are having difficulty getting around their home. Have they had falls? Do they have a plan in place to get help if there is an emergency? You can fit their home with devices like emergency alarms, grab bars, and other things to make navigating and getting help much easier.
It’s important that your parents are still able to bathe themselves, get dressed, and properly clean their clothes and linens. If you notice that they appear more unkempt than usual, or they wear soiled clothing or have noticeable odor then this suggests that they are no longer able to care for themselves.
If your older parents are still driving, make sure they are definitely still safe to be behind the wheel. If they aren’t driving, do they have access to other forms of transport to get to doctors’ appointments or the grocery store? This could be using public transport, taxis, or getting lifts from friends or family.
For older people living alone, loneliness and isolation can be a major concern. Does your parent spend a lot of time indoors, by themselves? Do they have friends? Do they still get out to socialize, or do they get plenty of visitors to their home? Watch out for signs of depression.
Are they still able to manage their home? When you visit, take a look around to make sure things are being kept clean. Pay special attention to bathrooms and kitchens. Look out for disarray, stains, or spoiled food in the fridge. Check for post stacking up or late bill notices coming through to make sure they’re coming on top of house admin.