Concerns About Aging Parents
If you are at the stage of life where you have aging parents, you know how unsettling it is to be thinking of them alone and struggling. Here are seven areas of common concern.
1. Is Mom or Dad okay being “home alone?”
There are many concerns about an aging parent being home alone especially if they are frail and needing more and more help. Parents tend to be proud and don’t want to ask their children for help. They may also be afraid of being taken out of their home and placed into a retirement home or nursing home if they show weakness or inability to care for themselves. You want to help when they do ask but you may be unable. Knowing they need assistance and not being able to be there for them can cause you and the family serious stress.
Did you know that we have “Pre-Screened” caregivers who can help your Mom or Dad on an hourly basis with a schedule to fit your needs and budget. We can customize a plan that will work for you and your Mom or Dad.
2. Are you worried about Mom or Dad’s safety?
As parents get older basic activities of daily living — getting out of bed, getting dressed, taking a shower, or making a meal — can become challenging. Most accidents happen in the home and the risk factors only go up with age. One big concern may be falls, leaving the stove on, or forgetting to lock doors, or leaving water on etc..
If you have had safety concerns our caregivers make sure your loved one is safe. We will assist them with all their basic activities as needed so that you won’t worry that they are doing things at home alone that are potentially dangerous for them.
3. Are you worried because you live too far away to check on Mom or Dad when you want to or need to?
Many families live far away from aging parents. If you don’t live close to your loved one, you and your siblings may not be able to easily stop over to check on them. Not being able to see mom or dad to make sure they are ok is stressful.
We are one phone call away and having a caregiver that you trust to be with your parents and be your eyes and ears can relieve you of this stress.
4. Do you worry that Mom or Dad isn’t eating right, maybe losing weight?
Maintaining good nutrition and remaining hydrated is critical to everyone’s health but especially for elders. It is important to monitor for weight loss to make sure your loved one is not malnourished or dehydrated.
We are not professional chefs but Our caregivers will assist with meal preparation and cooking. They will be companions during meals and encourage good choices for meals and snacks. Our caregivers will help monitor weight on a weekly basis and report to you.
5. Do you worry about Mom or Dad falling?
Falls are one of the most frequent and dangerous occurrences for elders home alone. Falls become a big concern for parents who are weak and not feeling well. Falling and breaking bones of any kind is serious but breaking a hip is usually a real game changer for an elder.
We can see the risks of a fall before they happen we are proactive and we safety proof the house. Remove all throw rugs, review all uneven surfaces and install grab bars in the shower and bathroom areas. Having a caregiver present to assist with bathing and showers especially is a good proactive measure.
6. Do you worry that your Mom or Dad is not taking their medications correctly?
Maybe you worry that they aren’t taking their medications at all? Or taking too much? Medication errors are the cause of many emergency room visits for elders. Especially if your parent is forgetful, has dementia or poor eyesight, medication problems are serious issues.
Solutions: Our caregivers will remind your parent to take their medications, observe and monitor the medications taken, be aware of side effects and report when there is a problem.
7. Do you worry that Mom or Dad may be missing doctor’s appointments or may not remember what the doctor said when they get home?
This is also a very common problem. Elders don’t always tell the doctor how they really are when asked and so doctors aren’t always totally aware of important issues at home. Often there are other communication problems or hearing problems that make the appointment less effective than it could be. Many times elders cannot understand or remember what their doctor said to them. Sometimes they need help with follow up labs or tests etc.
Our caregivers can drive your parent to their doctor’s appointments and be good support while they are there. They can be a great source of information to you regarding changes in medications, treatments and recommendations.
These are only a few of the most common concerns with elder parents at home. If you have these or other concerns about your parent being “home alone,” please call us. We are happy to talk with you over the phone about your concerns and in addition, our staff can arrange for our nurse care manager to come out and do a complimentary assessment for your loved one.
Grace Care is a nurse owned and operated home care organization. We are here to help!