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Has Your Dad Talked About Aging in Place?

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.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

Supporting Your Senior’s Independence

When an older adult begins to need assistance with daily activities, we instinctively want to offer as much aid as possible. This can backfire and make them feel like they’re losing the one thing they want so bad: to live independently. When your senior enters their later years, you should sit down and evaluate their lifestyle and what alternatives could be best for them. The good news is that elder care services have never been more accessible regardless of what people select.

If you want to be a family caregiver for your senior, that is a great choice, but sometimes elder care can be the helping hand you need to take a break. You may not be able to do everything for your senior, or your loved one may feel like you are being overbearing. Often, elder care allows a senior to have the help they need without being smothering or taking away a seniors choice. It can be a fine balance, and it’s not always easy.

Here are a few useful ways you can offer support to your senior without taking away their choices or unknowingly controlling them.

Plan Together

Communication is essential for this relationship to work. You may be feeling like you need to help plan everything out for your loved one, but this can be stressful when they aren’t choosing what happens with their day or life. Instead of assuming what they need help with or making plans without them, sit down and talk to them.

Find out what they want help with and make a plan of action together. This allows you to know what is going on in their lives but also provides support where it is needed and wanted. Your relationship with your mom and dad is changing as they become older, but it is still crucial to show them the respect every parent deserves.

Don’t Jump In Too Quickly

You may be thinking, “These are my parents I have to help.” Just because your mom or dad has mentioned something doesn’t mean you need to jump in and be involved right away. Your senior mom or dad is much more capable than you may think, and they may have already found someone willing to help.

Even if your mom or dad needs help once in a while, you may start assuming they will always need help, and that’s just not the case. Take a step back and observe how they’re living. Once you notice habits that are unhealthy or things going wrong over and over, then it’s time to step in.

Focus on What They Can Do

Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they need help with everything. They may not be able to run marathons, but they can still do most things without you. Only offer help when it is something you know they can’t do or have never done.

Maintaining as much of one’s independence in daily life as possible is important for seniors’ mental and physical wellbeing. You can offer to do things with them that they already know how to do and things they are comfortable with. Elder care can be there to keep them engaged in activities they enjoy, which increases overall happiness and satisfaction with life.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!