If your family is like many Americans, you probably got together at some point during the holiday season with those you love. Here’s a important post holiday project that you can do, now that you’ve spent time in your elderly relatives home. Here are four key areas to look into in order to determine if there’s something they need, that can improve there life in 2012:
Look around your loved ones’ house or apartment to see if it meets their needs as they age. Can they still safely manage stairs or would a chair lift or lights make that easier? Would they be better off in their living quarters were all on one level?
Are you concerned about such things as dark stairs, loose rugs, clutter or fire hazards? Would brighter lighting and clearer passageways help? Contact us at Reliant In-Home Care for a free ‘Safe Home Checklist’
Is there a bath on the ground floor and a room that could become a bedroom if necessary?
Could their home be made more convenient with basic and practical modifications, such as easier to use handles and switches, pullout cabinet shelves, a comfort-height toilet or walk-in shower?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, talk to family members about addressing the situation or contact us for a ‘Home Safety Evaluation’
Their Ability to Drive
If your older relatives are still driving, ride with them and observe their skills behind the wheel. Are they having close calls? Are there dents or dings on the car or garage? Do they turn there heads to bring blind spots into view? Do they drive too slow or miss signs or signals? Do they have difficulties at intersections? Have they gotten warnings or tickets?
These are a few signs that it might be time to have a conversation about limiting driving or hanging up the keys.
Investigate community alternatives that offer transportation for shopping, medical visits, religious services and visits with family and friends if driving becomes too risky. At Reliant as well as other home care companies, escorting is often a service offered.
If you don’t already know about their health problems and medications, take this time to ask. How do their drugs make them feel? Are their prescriptions current?
It is important to periodically have a doctor or pharmacist review all the medications for side effects and potentially dangerous interactions, or the effect on driving. Their local pharmacist can be a great resource.
Are they having problems complying or taking their medications? Do they always remember which medications to take and when? Would a pill organizer be helpful? There a many options available from your simple weekly box to advanced digital systems that help distribute the proper daily regime.
This can be a difficult topic to broach, but it is important to discuss momeny matters before a crisis occurs. Ask your elder relative if all of their legal and financial papers are in one place, and where you can access it in an emergency?
Check on the condition of their mail. Are bills stacking up? Are there late notices? Do they have any bills they can’t pay?
These are just preliminary conversations you should be having with your parents or other elderly relatives. Feel free to contact Reliant In-Home Care if we can be of any assistance either through our services or simple for a quality referral or community resource.
We wish you and yours a healthy, safe and happy New Year!
Reliant In-Home Care: 2103 S. El Camino Real, Ste. 102B Oceanside, CA. 92056 * 760-579-0850