The idea of caring for an elderly parent can seem like a huge role reversal for many people. Taking on such a huge responsibility comes with a lot of lifestyle changes not only for you, but your elderly loved one too. Caring for your elderly parent depends on their health and how much help they actually need. Below are some things you should take into consideration when caring from an elderly parent in your own home.
Keep the Home Clean
One of the biggest concerns for an elderly person is becoming sick. The aging process can’t be stopped, and this comes along with changes in the body, such as a weakening immune system. Keeping your home clean is the first preventative measure to making sure your elderly parent is not exposed to germs and bacteria. This can help cut down on the chances of them becoming ill.
Keep bathroom surfaces clean, and be especially careful of mold and mildew. These substances can be harmful for elderly persons’ health, especially if they have asthma.
Be Aware of the Temperature
While it varies from person to person, elderly adults can be easily affected by the temperature of their environment. The average ideal temperature for people over the age of 80 is about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Elderly adults under the age of eighty may prefer to have the temperature of the home around 76 to 80 degrees. This need for a higher temperature is due to poor circulation to the extremities as people age. This is why the elderly usually prefer warmer temperatures. Consider scheduling an inspection from an HVAC company like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. You might be able to set up a more ideal temperature for your parent, as well as ensure that the ductwork isn’t blowing around dust and mold that could make them sick.
Make Sure You Have the Time to Care for Your Elderly Parent
Make sure you have the time to take care of your elderly parent. Elderly parents who are more independent may need little assistance throughout the day, but if you have an elderly parent who needs part-time or full-time care, consider hiring a home healthcare provider or providing them with a fall detection alert system. You should also make sure to make arrangements for someone else to care for your elderly parent in the event of an emergency. It’s generally not wise to quit a job to take care of a parent, as this could damage your chances of finding a new job in the future when your parent passes on or receives other care. Check with your employer’s family leave policies; they might allow you some time off to get things under control with your loved one.
Be Aware of Your Elderly Parent’s Limitations
This once again depends on the person, but be aware of the physical limitations of your elderly parent. If your home has a set of stairs inside of it, you may want to consider investing in a chair lift to prevent them from falling and injuring themselves. If they need a wheelchair or a scooter to move around, you may also need to install access ramps throughout the house. It’s also important to add safety bars in the bathroom, as this can help them to stand up after bathing or sitting on the commode. Pay attention to what they have difficulty with and accommodate their needs accordingly.
Remember to be patient with your elderly parent when they move into your home. Be sure to discuss with them what they will or may need while they’re living with you. You might also consider making a care giving budget for yourself and learn more about Medicare and Medicaid options. Following these simple steps will allow you to keep your elderly parent comfortable, safe, and healthy at this point in their lives, while remaining financially stable yourself.