Getting a chance to age the way you want to age is priceless. If someone close to you ages in place, you can do a lot to make the whole experience more comfortable for them. The support and love we get from the people around us mean the world. You can give that love, support, and help your loved ones. Here is a list of tips that will guide you through helping your elder loved ones age in place.
Talk to them
If you’re helping out your parent or someone else close to you, the main thing to remember is that you can always talk to them. You don’t need to suppose what their needs and wishes are. Instead, you can simply ask them.
Of course, unless your parent has memory loss problems or a cognitive disease, this shouldn’t be a problem. In all of the other cases, you can do your best by asking what is it that they need you to do. Besides their needs, don't forget to address their fears either. Together, you'll be able to find a solution to every problem.
Be there for them
Getting older is never easy. The good thing is that the people we love can make it more bearable. That is the reason why your loved one of age needs to know that you're there for them. If your parent or some other family member that ages in place live alone, the best thing you can do is check on them regularly. If you have the opportunity to visit them a few times during the day, you should do so. If you can't, even once a day would be nice.
If you can’t make it at all on some days, include your friends and family and ask them to do that. Make sure to keep in touch with their neighbors too. After all, they are the ones closest to your loved one at any given moment. Finally, don’t forget to call as often as possible. Besides getting to know what they need, you’ll be able to show them how much you care and make them feel loved and appreciated.
Don’t do it on your own
Another thing you should remember is that you’re not alone in all this. Even if you are the one taking the most care of your parent, you still aren’t the only one that cares. A useful idea would be to sit with your family and plan together. You could divide your tasks and obligations however you want to. For instance, you could think of the time and money that you are willing to provide. Everyone will have something to offer and it’s always best when the whole family is included.
Even though the help from family and friends is priceless, sometimes it's not enough. There are situations where professional help is irreplaceable. No matter what kind of time and goodwill you could have, someone more specialized will know what to do and how to help more effectively. For such cases, looking for help from a trustworthy nursing agency is the best thing you could do. Both you and your loved one will benefit from professional help.
Create an accessible living area for them
Your loved one shouldn’t struggle too much. However, aging in place can sometimes seem like a struggle. Luckily, you can do a lot to minimize that potential struggle. The easiest way to do so is by making their living area more accessible. For instance, if your loved one uses the wheelchair, you should widen doorways or install ramps. On the other hand, they might need a seat in their bathroom.
The list of things you can do to make their home more accessible is long. All you need to do is to think of their needs and do the things that could be useful for them. Finally, some things are always useful. For instance, the household products they use daily should be placed in such a way that your loved one can reach them easily.
Make a safe environment for your loved one
Finally, this may be one of the most important steps when helping out someone aging in place. Namely, it's extremely important to remove all of the safety hazards. Your loved one's home shouldn't be just accessible; it should be safe as well. For instance, it's best to secure all of the sharp objects like knives.
Another important tip is to lock up medications and any potentially toxic items. Your loved one's home should be a haven where they can enjoy getting older and not a trap. All of these measures of precaution are even more important if your family member has a cognitive disease.
Aging of place can be an endlessly interesting way to age. If someone you care about ages of place, you really should offer a hand and help them age gracefully. Now, when you know how, nothing can stop you from doing some good.
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