Owners' Blog

Tips for Ensuring Your Aging Parent is Ready to Age in Place

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Caregivers in Sugar Hill GA

If you have noticed that your elderly parent is experiencing increased challenges and limitations, or they have recently been diagnosed with a condition that could mean they will need additional care and support in their later years, you are likely considering stepping in as their family caregiver. When it comes to getting ready to make this major change, however, it is important not just to consider whether you are ready to be a caregiver and to take on these responsibilities for your aging parent. You must also think about whether your loved one is ready to age in place.

“Aging in place” is a term used to describe elderly adults choosing to remain in a home environment as they move through the later stages in their life rather than transitioning into another setting. This is the desired method of aging for the vast majority of elderly adults and is ideal for those who have adult children who are ready, willing, and even eager to give their parents the type of support, care, and assistance that they need to manage their challenges as they age. Despite its benefits, however, aging in place can be challenging and it is important to make sure that your elderly loved one is truly ready for it as early in your care journey with them as possible. This way you can make meaningful modifications in areas where they might not be as prepared, and feel more confident that both of you are on the right path toward giving your senior the quality of life that you know they deserve as they get older.

Use these tips to help ensure your aging parent is ready to age in place:

• Ensure they can utilize their home safely. Aging in place does not necessarily mean that your aging parent will stay in the same home environment where they have for the past several decades. Depending on their specific needs and challenges, they might need to transition into a smaller home or even into your home to ensure that they stay safe. Evaluate their home in comparison to their physical and mobility limitations and determine if they are able to utilize their home safely, confidently, and securely.

• Make their home safer. If you have identified areas of the home that might be risky for your parent but do not necessarily preclude them from living there as they age, make sure that you make the necessary modifications as soon as possible. This can include putting in more light, adding grab bars and hand rails throughout the home, investing in a stair lift, and removing loose flooring covers to reduce trip and fall hazards.

• Create accessibility. One of the most appealing aspects of aging in place for many seniors is the ability to maintain more of their independence. Help them to achieve this and keep it going despite challenges by creating accessibility throughout the home. If your elderly parent is suffering from arthritis, for example, trade out doorknobs for handles to make them easier to use. Consider adding ADA-approved features to the bathroom to make it safer and easier to use as well.

• Consider if they feel ready. Being ready for this change is not just about being physically prepared and having the right environment. Your aging loved one should also feel emotionally prepared for this change and confident that they are able to handle it. Talk to your loved one about this new chapter in their life and how you will help them to manage it in the best way possible. Consider seeking out a support group designed for elderly adults to give them even more support and encouragement.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Sugar Hill, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.