Staying at home is something many people hope to do for as long as possible as they age. Between the comfort of having their familiar things just so and the inconvenience of moving, home is where people feel relaxed and at ease.
As a relative of someone who is getting older, you may need to support them in this, helping to keep your loved one safe and enjoying a high quality of life. Here are a few ways you can assist your elderly loved one to stay as independent as possible in their own home.
Understand their Needs
Every person will have unique needs as they age. Whether your friend or family member has specific medical conditions that need to be catered for, or if they simply need regular interaction to keep them from getting lonely, if you know what your loved one needs you can then make arrangements to ensure those needs are met.
Modify the Physical Facilities
Adding aids for mobility or access can make a big difference to everyday tasks like getting the mail or using the bathroom with ease. Not only can these simple additions make jobs easier, they can help keep people safe.
Enlist the Aid of a Professional Care Worker
If you’re not able to be there as much as you would like, it may be a good idea to get a professional on board. A nurse or carer can help fill the gaps and ensure regular visits are made.
Simple things like a nightly phone call is one way to keep your loved one feeling both connected and safe. Knowing that someone will miss them if they don’t answer is not only a nice feeling, it’s also great for peace of mind.
Advocate for their Wishes
If your loved one is determined to stay at home and remain as independent as possible, it’s important they feel supported. Being an advocate for what they want can make sure they don’t feel abandoned and are comfortable asking for help, should they need it. Backing their wishes can show in other ways as well, such as accompanying them to appointments with health professionals and making sure they are getting full explanations, as well as ensuring they aren’t getting forced into doing anything they aren’t fully on board with.
Know When to Push for Change
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to stay at home, no matter how much they want to. Others may be able to do it for a time, but as circumstances change, reassessments may be necessary. Paying attention to your loved one’s physical and emotional capabilities and wellbeing is important, and if you notice any red flags, you will need to discuss the future with them.
Helping elderly family members or friends live the life they want in their own home is possible – it will just take some thought, attention and love. Simple things can make big differences, improving their overall quality of life dramatically.