Aging at home is desirable, but are your parents safe while living alone?
Loneliness is just one concern elderly men and women face while living alone. When your parent plans to live alone in the family home, it’s important to talk about senior care and the best time to start making arrangements. Here are situations that make home care visits so important.
Medications Must Be Managed Appropriately
Many senior citizens have one chronic condition. Even if it’s something like arthritis, your mom or dad may need help managing medications. While a doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers rather than prescription medications, your parent still needs to make sure medications are taken appropriately.
Medications like Advil or Tylenol should be taken every four to six hours. If your mom forgot she took pain medications an hour ago and keeps taking extra pills, she can damage her kidneys or liver by overdosing. She needs reminders when it’s time to take another dose.
Loneliness Leads to Additional Health Issues
Studies find that seniors who are lonely are more likely to suffer from depression. You may see some of the signs. Your mom or dad no longer want to go out and be social. They don’t enjoy doing the same things they used to enjoy. They sleep longer or suffer from insomnia.
Caregivers visit regularly, which helps prevents loneliness. If you arrange transportation services, caregivers can also drive your parents to local senior centers for luncheons, dances, and other social events.
Falls Can Be Devastating
If your parent fell, how long could it be before another person found them? Let’s say you stop by every Saturday. Your dad falls and is unable to get to the phone, and he refuses to wear a medic alert pendant or bracelet. He’s been there for four days waiting for you to arrive. Situations similar to this happen all the time. It has happened, but caregivers can prevent that situation.
Caregivers can go through the home and point out hazards that may lead to a fall. They are there to check on your parent each day.
Caregiver Burnout is a Real Issue
If you’re helping your mom or dad with meals, housework, laundry, and transportation, you can burn out. This is especially true if you also have a job and family of your own who require your attention each day. You need to be able to take breaks.
Call a senior care agency and discuss respite care. Caregivers take over your mom or dad’s senior care needs. While your parents have the help they require, you can focus on your own responsibilities and leave time to relax.