There are no fool-proof maps than can show the best way to care for an elderly parent. But there are some common “potholes” that can make the road difficult to travel. To help you on your caregiving journey, here are five more common errors adult children make in taking care of their elderly parents.
1. Not Taking Fall Hazards Seriously
There are many simple modifications you can make at home to reduce the risks of falls: eliminate throw rugs, keep walkways clear, improve lighting, install grab bars next to your toilet and in tub or shower, keep commonly used items at an easily reachable height, and make sure stairways have handrails. Encourage your loved one to turn on a light when using the bathroom at night, and make sure hallways and stairways are well lit. It is also a good idea to have a licensed occupational therapist do a home safety evaluation. Of course, one of the best ways to protect from falls is to maintain your strength through routine exercise and balance training. Physical therapists provide tremendous support in helping seniors stay fit, balanced, and safe in their homes.
2. Not Planning Ahead
If you have a parent who is beginning to experience a significant decline in health and functioning, it is important to make a plan. Anticipate increasing need for help in the home, and discuss different ways for meeting those needs. It is a good idea to call a family meeting and discuss all available resources, recognizing that more and more help may be needed as time goes on. Make a plan BEFORE a crisis hits. It can be awkward to discuss at first, but no one thinks clearly in an emergency.Read More»