If your parents are reaching the age where they need a little more help with daily activities, but still want to live independently, it’s important to seek out resources that can help. Online blogs, websites, and forums offer a plethora of information that can put you in touch with organizations to assist your loved one at home. Allowing your parents to gain some freedom once again can help them establish a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Here are just a few examples of what may be available to you in your area.
If your parent is under a doctor’s care for a medical condition, there’s a good chance that he takes more than one type of medication. Medication can be challenging to organize and even harder to remember when to take. Podding meds is one way to organize pills by day and time frame to dispense. But, what about stray pills that you're unsure about? A pill identifier by number is one way to distinguish between meds that look very similar. Matching the number on the pill with the bottle is an easy way to reference a pill, should it drop or get lost from the pod. You can also use phone apps as a helpful reminder for your parent as to when to take certain medications.
Leaving your parent alone can bring about worry and the unwanted stress of not knowing if they’re being properly cared for at all times. If you feel the best solution is staying with them or checking in on them frequently, you’re not alone. Over 65 million people care for their aging parents or loved ones in the U.S. If you’re caring for your aging parent on a daily basis, retaining self-reliance is likely important to them. This starts with giving you a small break from caregiving, so you can focus on your own lifestyle.
Respite care is available locally through community service programs. The ARCH, or National Respite Network, offers an extensive amount of resources and searchable databases to help you find relief from caregiving in your area. You can find local respite care organizations that will help with:
- Light housekeeping tasks
- Overnight respite care
- Adult day care services
- Activity planning and social interaction events for seniors or shut-ins
If you feel like your parent would benefit from respite services, contact your local community service or the U.S. Department of Human Services today.
[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B002VWK1TA” locale=”US” src=”http://www.medicalisland.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/51R9yUW9CDL.SL160.jpg” tag=”medicalisland-20″ width=”160″]Does your older parent need help with mobility? If you notice any physical changes, it may be time to bring it up with his primary care doctor. Mobility assistance may include a:
- Walker or cane for stability and support
- Wheelchair for physical transport
- Hoyer lift for assistance with lifting a bed-bound patient
- Wheelchair ramp
- Bathroom shower chair
- Handicap accessible entryway
While self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal for your loved one, asking for some assistance and a referral from the doctor to a DME or durable medical equipment company can help boost independence. You may benefit from looking into rollators or the like, which have been found to help tremendously. Uplifting Mobility has a great guide on rollators if you would like more information.
Does your aging loved one find themselves visiting the doctor frequently for nursing services? Home care may be an option. Nursing care at home is gaining popularity and offers a variety of care for individuals are homebound or unable to gain access to medical care outside of the home. The first step is getting a referral from your parent’s primary care doctor. From there a home care agency may be able to help with:
- Routine well visits
- Ambulatory care
- Bathing and grooming care
- Wound and ostomy care
- Medication administration and organization
- Social work assistance
Many checkups and doctor office visits can be diverted to home care. Ask about a referral to see if the services will apply to your parent’s situation.
Keeping your parent as self-reliant as possible is important as the years go by. This will bring you peace of mind and also save money from having to resort to a skilled nursing center or assisted living facility placement. Utilize local resources and talk with your primary care doctor today about the best fit for your aging parent.