Are Mom & Dad Safe? | A Checklist for the Adult Child
Have you ever been at work and found yourself thinking about an aging parent’s safety? This is a reality for millions of Americans balancing a career and caregiver responsibilities. However, with a little planning and dialogue, peace of mind is possible for you. Included is a brief checklist to get you started. Begin with a family meeting with your aging loved one and work through the list together to come up with a joint plan. Articulating your concerns and worries and making a space for theirs will foster mutual understanding for each person’s perspective.
At the Doctor
- Check in with your aging parents to make sure they are getting their vision and hearing checked every year. Those senses contribute to overall balance and environmental awareness.
- Ask if a bone density test is necessary to determine the bone health of your loved one.
- Be sure to discuss the side effects of medications. Common symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness, muscle weakness, or nausea could increase the risk of falls.
- Consult the doctor about appropriate mobility devices that should be used around the house or on outings such as a cane or walker.
- Create an overall plan with the physician that includes supplements, diet and exercise that will help maintain bone health, balance, and strength.
At the Home
- Make sure pathways are clear of wires, clutter and furniture is arranged giving plenty of walk space.
- Small rugs should be pulled up and large carpets should be secured to the floor, especially around the edges. Avoid large area rugs with fringe or frayed corners that may be a tripping hazard.
- Walkways should be lit well especially at night. Have a flashlight by the bedside and consider night lights in the bathroom area.
- Stairways should be clutter free and have secure railing. If there is carpeting on the stairs, make sure there are no frayed pieces and it is secure. Marking the edge of the steps with a bright colored tape can help signal the beginning and end of the staircase.
In Home Care Services
When a loved one is showing risks of falling, regular activities of daily living that we all take for granted can become dangerous. Bathing, driving, going to the grocery store, cooking or even dressing can put a loved one at risk for a fall. One of the most difficult positions an adult child can be in is to want to keep parents safe while maintaining their independence. Especially for working adult children, it is impossible to do it all. In-Home Care can be a viable solution for this dilemma. As a certified nursing assistant, a professional can stand by and provide compassionate assistance when needed. This presence in the home can give peace of mind to adult children and deflate the fear of a fall for the aging adult. For more information regarding our in-home care services within the Puget Sound region, give us a call at 800.628.7649.
Published on September 5, 2013.