Owners' Blog

How to Help an Aging Parent Feel Safer at Home Alone

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Even if your aging parent is still able to live on their own in their own home, there are a lot of frightening things that can happen to them. Most seniors are very aware of these dangers, and they lose sleep over things like creaking floorboards, the possibility of falling and not being able to get up, or the thought that if a fire breaks out, they won’t be able to get out of the house in time.

These are things that worry all of us, but it is important to remember that even though these things are a possibility, they are also, in most cases, preventable. Your senior can still live an independent life, and they can worry a lot less by putting these five tips into action.

  1. Make the house fall-proof – Falls are common in the elderly, but they can be prevented. Tape down any loose carpets or rugs, nail down or replace any floorboards that stick up, and install handles around the bathtub and the bed to make getting in and out easier. You might even consider installing a walk-in tub, so that your loved one won’t have to lie down and get back up again, which increases risk for common bathtub-related accidents.
  2. Install an alarm system – Installing an alarm system can go a long way toward making people of any age feel safe. Alarm systems can include motion detectors for windows and doors, and can even come with cameras that can be installed to keep watch on the porch and other outside areas of the house.
  3. Have food and essentials delivered – If your family can afford it, there are many companies and stores that can deliver food right to your loved one’s door very day or every week. This means that they won’t have to cook if they don’t feel comfortable doing so, and that they won’t have to leave the house to get what they need.
  4. Prepare for an emergency – One of the biggest fears of seniors living alone is that they won’t be able to move quick enough to get out of the house, or to call someone if they have an emergency. These emergencies can range from fires and electrical failures to medical emergencies like heart attacks and strokes. These can all be very serious, but if you take the time to go over a concrete plan of what to do in cases like these with your parent, then they will feel less panicked if it occurs. If your parent is particularly prone to medical problems or falls, you might also consider investing in Life Alert, which provides your senior with a button to press if they have fallen or need emergency help, as well as 24 hour monitoring to ensure that if they call, someone will be there to send help as soon as possible.
  5. Consider home care – A senior can still be independent if they have help. If your aging parent has mobility or health problems, or just fears being alone all day and night, hiring home care could be a great way to make everyone feel more secure. A home care aide could come by to help with their day-to-day activities each day, without making the senior feel as if they are any less independent. This can lead to a lot less worry on their part – and yours.

Living alone doesn’t have to be scary. Just try out a few of these tips, and your aging parent will undoubtedly feel much safer and more secure at home.

Sources:
http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-2014/caregiving-home-safety-modifications-ginzler.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geeta-nayyar-md/caregiving-5-ways-to-help-elderly-age-independently_b_2878966.html

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