Taking care of your parents at your home is a big change to your lifestyle. However, the experience can be rather simple and pleasant if you work towards taking the proper steps and precautions. Knowing your parent’s condition, protecting them with safety features, and being prepared for what’s to come are the three most essential things to remember when taking your mom or dad in. Learn more about how and why before taking the next steps.
Learn Their Medical Conditions
To take care of your aging parent in your own home, it’s important to learn about their medical conditions. One of the most prevalent conditions that older people suffer from is dementia. According to recent statistics, 14.3% of assisted living communities have a unit, wing, or floor designated to just dementia residents. With so many elderly people having dementia, it’s important to be informed about it, should the situation arise.
To start your learning journey, you should schedule a meeting with your parent’s primary care physician to discuss their medical history and current conditions. It’ll give you a better understanding of their needs and how to provide the best care. You can also educate yourself about their conditions by researching on your own and seeking advice from other caregivers or people you know who have been in similar situations.
It’s important always to be observant of your parent’s behavior and symptoms. If they exhibit any unusual behavior or mood changes, addressing them promptly is vital. You should also learn about their medicines and create a schedule to keep track of any side effects or complications.
Install Safety Features
When caring for your aging parents in your home, it’s important to ensure their safety by installing appropriate features. One potential danger to be aware of is the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can result from a major jolt or sudden violent movement to the head.
To prevent accidents, consider installing safety essentials, including grab bars in the bathroom and shower, to avoid slips and falls. Non-slip mats or adhesive strips should also be placed on the bathroom floor to provide extra traction.
Ensure all carpets and rugs are secured and don’t have any frayed edges that can cause tripping hazards. Additionally, installing handrails on staircases and ramps will help to prevent falls and provide extra support when needed.
Be Prepared for What’s to Come
If you’re caring for your aging parent in your own home, it’s important to be prepared for what’s to come. This includes their day-to-day needs and planning for the future, including end-of-life decisions.
Just under half of United States adults have a will describing how they would like their estate handled after they pass. Unfortunately, this means that many people haven’t taken the necessary steps to ensure their wishes are carried out after they die.
It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your parent about their wishes for their estate. Then, encourage them to create a will or update their existing one. Points to cover include decisions about who will inherit their assets, who will be appointed as executors, and any specific requests they have for their funeral or memorial service.
In addition to a will, it’s crucial to have other important documents in place, such as a power of attorney and healthcare directive. These documents will ensure that someone is legally authorized to make decisions on your parent’s behalf if they become unable to do so themselves.
Preparing for the future can be overwhelming, but taking small steps now can make a big difference. By having these difficult conversations and getting important documents in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your parent’s wishes will be respected and their affairs will be handled appropriately.
Ultimately, taking care of your parents might be one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences you have ever had. As long as you prepare for a change in your lifestyle, you should have minimal hiccups or issues along the way. Just think of how peaceful their final years will be, and you can rest easy knowing you did everything you could to make their remaining time pleasant.