If you have noticed that your parents are having a hard time driving, keeping up with housework, or tending to their own hygiene, it is important that you bring in help sooner rather than later. Recovering from a burn or a cut is more challenging than getting help with meal preparation, and car wrecks are very hard on elderly bones.
For parents who are not safe drivers, hiring a driver to cover appointments with friends, shopping trips, or doctor’s appointments can take a lot of stress off your loved one. If your parents are tech savvy, consider setting them up an Uber account or sign them up with GoGoGrandparent if available in your region. Your parents will need to be able to manage a smartphone for many of these services. Be ready to put in the time to show them how to do that.
If your parents are living in the home they love, but dealing with laundry on another floor, signing them up for a once or twice weekly visit from a service like Nanny Pak can keep them a lot safer. Carrying laundry down the stairs is inherently hazardous.
A visit from a non medical home care provider can also include:
These caregivers are not nurses, nor are they there to give skilled care. However, a bit of help just a couple of times a week can make it much safer for your loved one to stay in their home.
When caring for your loved one, make sure you are protecting their investment. Hire a professional landscaper to keep the lawn mowed regularly, weeds under control, landscaping in good shape, and sprinklers maintained and blown out when necessary. Look for a skilled handyman who can give you an honest yearly assessment of the property. A simple caulking check on the windows can be the difference between a quickly repaired leak and an expensive window replacement in the future.
The key to helping an aging parent is to prevent risk. This means taking care of things like lawn mowing and gutter cleaning before someone has a fall. It means bringing in help for laundry and cooking before someone tumbles down the stairs with a laundry basket. Getting them used to a little help before they absolutely need it will make future transitions easier.