We all want to help our parents meet the goal of aging in place independently and happily. Evaluating your loved ones’ current living situation and making necessary changes now increases the likelihood they’ll be able to stay in their homes for as long as possible.
Here are five things you can do to ensure your parents can keep their independence in the years ahead.
1. Assess Caregiving Needs.
Determine what your parent needs help with on a daily or weekly basis. For example, would they be better off if they were having the groceries delivered? Can your dad follow his medication schedule? Do your parents need help with housework? Evaluate their needs, and then match up service providers to take care of those needs.
One major factor in an elderly person’s independence is their ability to drive. If they are not capable of doing so without possibly causing injury to themselves or others, then arrange other transportation options. Many municipalities, volunteer groups, and nonprofit organizations offer seniors rides for little to no fee.
2. Make Home Modifications.
Next, assess your parents’ home and determine whether or not it can safely sustain them now and in the future.
Mobility and the ability to monitor their safety is key. If possible, make modifications to their existing home. Consider (where possible) tearing down walls to create a more navigable floor plan, installing easier-to-access showers and sinks, and modifying fixtures so they’re more user-friendly.
Also, look into home monitoring systems, which are becoming more sophisticated every year. Some technologies even have the ability to detect changes in your parents’ activity. For example, if the system senses that Mom took a fall, it can send instant alerts to you and 911 in emergency situations.
If their home cannot be modified to accommodate your parents as they age, then be proactive about looking for a new residence (e.g., a new single-story home in a neighborhood near you or assisted living).
3. Find Community Resources.
Until recently, local resources for seniors mostly consisted of adult day care centers and Meals on Wheels programs. But as the population of adults age 65-plus escalates over the next couple of decades, more resources will become available.
One such resource is the “village” concept. Villages connect members with resources they need to live at home safely and comfortably. Many villages are neighborhood organizations that rely on volunteers to provide services. For an annual fee, these communities help senior members manage household tasks they can no longer handle. When volunteers aren’t able to provide services, villages refer members to discounted and vetted vendors. Look for a village close to your parent’s home.
4. Enlist Local Support and Companionship.
Many adult children live hundreds or even thousands …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance