Keeping Elderly Parents at Home in South Florida

Here is a great article for anyone who is working to prepare for the care of aging parents, and the importance of hiring a geriatric care manager to help with the process.  Visit us at www.caremanage.com if you need help for an aging loved one in South Florida.

Aging in Place – Seven Ways to Help Your Elderly Parents Live Out Their Days in Their Own Home

Katie B. Marsh

Your independent elderly parents likely do not want to be a burden on their children when or if they become incapacitated due to age-related illness. And perhaps they don’t want to move into an “old age home.” They want to spend the rest of their days in their own home. Sounds great, but how will this work? Here are seven affordable ways to help your elderly loved ones prepare to preserve their independence and live in safety and comfort.

Locate a geriatric care manager. They act as liaisons between the elderly, their families, and social services. You can locate one and learn more about their role at the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers at caremanager.org.

Alter the home. One major renovation that is necessary is building a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. This includes widening the doorway, building a roll-in shower and adding a height-adjustable handheld showerhead. It is also important to have the bathroom sink lowered, making sure to leave proper knee clearance. Other important installations include an elevated toilet and grab bars. Adding rocker light switches throughout the house that are reachable from the door (about 36″ to 40″ above the floor) should help your elderly parents as should a few no-step entries in the form of a ramp or garage lift. There is much more that can be done in the kitchen, but it would require a costly major renovation.

Have meals delivered. Meals on Wheels is a social service available for seniors to have healthful meals delivered to their home. If your loved one is able to afford a private chef, this would be a great alternative. Many private chefs visit private residences once a week and prepare meals for an entire week, storing them in the freezer and refrigerator for reheating.

Sign up for door-to-door shuttle service. Many cities and suburbs offer free or affordable door-to-door shuttle services at certain times of the day for the elderly and disabled. They include help embarking and disembarking the shuttle with or without a wheelchair.

Sign up for books by mail. Many public library systems have instituted a free books-by-mail program for the disabled or homebound. Ask about audio books and large print books when signing up for this service at your local library. You can also order very affordable slightly used books on Internet book websites like amazon.com, barnesandnobel.com, and powells.com .

Order a 24/7 medical alert system. This is an invaluable tool for the elderly person who lives alone and his or her family. The hardest part is teaching your independent elderly loved one the importance of keeping it with them at all times in case of an emergency.

Browse for useful products. Take a look online at the ever-expanding list of products available to assist the elderly. Some products available now, for example, include a hands-free magnifying light and an amplified phone with caller ID.

As you’re preparing for your elderly parents to age in place, here is a fun little quote to share with them by Sam Ewing: “Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.”

Katie B. Marsh is co-author of The Birth of Dying – A Sensitive Workbook to Help You Broach and Explore End-of-Life Issues with Your Terminally Ill or Elderly Loved One. Go to http://BooksForSharing.com/ to download your FREE Memoir Questionnaire!

(c) Copyright – Katie B. Marsh. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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