Keeping Your Elderly Parents Safe While Maintaining Their Independence
We know that our parents want to keep their independence and, often times, they’re pretty obstinate about doing so. And in all reality, can you blame them? Imagine working through your youth and early twenties, working and raising a family to achieve that sense of accomplishment that comes with that kind of success only to have it all taken away from you. I can only speak for myself but I sure wouldn’t handle it too well.
Most children of elderly parents – whether or not they’ve had to become caregivers – understand the importance of keeping Mom and Dad at home and work hard to make sure that they’re able to maintain that sense of independence.
But what about their safety?
Here are a couple things that you can do to make sure that your elderly parent stays safe at home while staying as independent as possible.
Create a Secure Environment
Home modifications can go a long way to making sure that your parents are safe at home. Most common among them are the installation of grab bars, toilet seat boosters and no-slip bathmats in the bathroom. With the combination of water on the floors and hard surfaces, it’s easy to see how this is one of the first rooms of the house to be modified to prevent falls. Other examples could include ramps, chair lifts and remote monitoring capabilities. Additionally, having night lights installed along pathways from the bed to the bathroom will help prevent falls when nature comes calling in the middle of the night.
Use Senior Friendly Smart Technology
These days there are more and more technology companies focused on helping seniors stay safe when there’s no one else around – and helping them call for help when something does happen. Wearable emergency alert buttons aren’t the clunky unattractive devices that they once were. They’re now being designed into bracelets, watches and necklaces to make sure that help is just just minutes away. Also, vibrating insoles can help maintain balance and “granny cams” can offer a more discreet way for you to check in from time to time to make sure that everything is ok.
*A note regarding Granny Cams: Make sure to discuss this with your loved one before installing them. If ever they were to find out that you installed them without their permission, the damage to the level of trust and that to the relationship itself will prove to be far more damaging than the potential benefit.
Make sure that you take the time to learn about the best ways to keep your parents safe while maintaining their independence. There are plenty of resources out there – we offer plenty ourselves – so take advantage of them to stay informed. While independence is certainly a worthwhile goal when working with your elderly parents, remember that the first priority must always be safety so make sure that, while they are still able to live independently, you set them up for success.