Have you ever been at work and found yourself thinking about your parent’s safety? This is a reality for millions of Americans balancing a career and family caregiver responsibilities. However, with a little planning and dialogue, peace of mind is possible for you. Begin with a family meeting and work through the list together to come up with a joint plan. Articulating your concerns and worries and addressing theirs will foster mutual understanding of each person’s perspective. Included is a brief checklist to get you started.
At the Doctor
- Make sure that your family member is getting their vision and hearing checked every year. These senses contribute to overall balance and environmental awareness.
- A bone density test is may be 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 with 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 to offer plenty of walking 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, 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 railings. If there is carpeting on the stairs, make sure there are no frayed pieces and that it is secure. Marking the edge of the steps with a bright colored tape can help signal the beginning and end of the staircase.
Home Care Services
When a loved one is showing risks of falling, regular activities of daily living can become dangerous. Bathing, driving, shopping, cooking or even dressing can put a loved-one at risk for a fall. One of the most difficult positions for an adult child is to when they have to choose between their parent's independence or their safety. In-Home Care can be a viable solution for this dilemma. As a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a professional can stand by and provide compassionate assistance when needed. Their presence in the home can give peace of mind to adult children and deflate the fear of a fall for the aging adult.
Published on August 31, 2017.