Aging in place is choosing to remain living at home in the twilight years of life. It’s what your dad wants, and you want to ensure he’s able to. Before he can, he needs to take a few measures to make sure he’s able to safely age in his current home. Here are a few important steps to take, and how elder care can help ensure he remains safe at home.
Heighten Safety Around His Home
Take measures to improve safety around your dad’s home. Add grab bars around his toilet and inside and outside of his shower. If he needs help keeping his balance, the grab bars are there. Non-slip bath mats and shower seats may also be useful.
In his living room and main living areas, make sure furniture is arranged in such a way that your dad has plenty of room to walk without tripping over things or stubbing his toe. Check that there are no loose or uneven hardwood boards, torn carpeting, or electrical cords that are in the way. If there are decorative rugs, remove them or make sure they have rubberized backing.
Where is his bedroom? If it’s upstairs, is he steady on the stairs or does he have a hard time getting up and down the stairs safely? Would a stairlift help or could you move his bedroom to the main floor?
How Is His Health?
Does your dad have health issues? Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol may have him taking prescription medications every day. If he forgets to take his medications, is anyone available to remind him?
If your dad has several medical appointments or therapy sessions throughout the month, is he able to drive himself? If not, who brings him? Would it help to have a caregiver available for transportation?
Is he supposed to exercise every day? Does he like to walk by himself or does he avoid it and skip the recommended exercise his doctor wants him to do? If he’d be more likely to take a daily walk if someone else joined him, make sure there is someone with him for his daily walks.
Plan and Cook Meals
If your dad is tempted to eat canned soup, ramen cups, frozen pizza, and other heat-and-eat meals, try to get him to focus on home-cooked meals. A ramen cup may be easy to prepare and taste good, but it contains over 1,100 mg of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg per day.
Instead, focus on meals that contain lean protein, whole grains, and fresh produce. Dairy is good for calcium and vitamin D. Keeping salt to a minimum is ideal, and easy to do when you cook from scratch and use herbs and spices instead.
Book Elder Care Services
Support your dad’s goal of aging in place by arranging elder care. He’ll have caregivers with him to cook meals, clean his home, and do the laundry. Your dad will have a driver when he needs to run errands, and company when he’s going for walks or shopping. Learn more about elder care by talking to an advisor.