My Loved One Needs Help at Home – Now what?
As the Holiday season has come and gone, you may be realizing that an elderly loved one could use some extra assistance at home. Maybe they are not as mobile as they used to be, or you’re noticing they are becoming increasingly forgetful. When you’re starting from scratch, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what can be done to keep your loved one(s) safe.
1. Add non-medical home care to ensure good health and safety. Whether your loved one needs assistance with homemaking (light housekeeping, errands, meal preparation), companionship (rides to appointments, going for walks, assisting in social activities), or personal care (bathing, dressing, toileting, medication reminders), Golden Horizons Elder Care has you covered. At Golden Horizons, we encourage you to get to know us before you need us. Once care is in place, no matter the amount, it is easier to increase or decrease hours as needed. Starting out slow can be a wonderful way to introduce an elderly loved one to the idea of getting extra help. Having care in place can even act as a preventative tool to combat many health concerns, such as malnutrition, poor personal hygiene, isolation, falls, and illnesses such as urinary tract infections.
2. Ensure that your loved one’s home is optimized for safety. Making small adjustments around an elderly loved one’s house can make all the difference! One major priority should be to make walkways safe. Walkways and stairs should be well lit and clear of clutter. Make sure all small rugs and runners are slip resistant. For stairs, avoid loose carpeting, use sturdy handrails, and do not store anything on your steps. Electrical cords can be a hazard, too. Place all cords out of flow of traffic, replaced frayed or cracked cords, and do not run cords under carpet or furniture. Additionally, make sure smoke detectors are working and install grab bars where needed. These are just a few of many safety improvements that can and should be made in an elderly loved one’s home.
3. Use technology to your advantage. There are fantastic technologies out there that can be additional safety measures when your loved one is home alone. We recommend everyone invest in an emergency help button for seniors. These are worn around the neck and can be pressed in the event of a fall or medical emergency to alert first responders. A non-traditional technical tool that can also assist the elderly who may live alone is a Google Home or Amazon Echo device. These devices allow their users to communicate with “Google” or “Alexa” to set reminders, call 911, order essential products, turn on/off lights, and adhere to a morning/evening routine. Additionally, cameras or nanny/baby monitors can be a smart investment (with consent). They can be helpful in ensuring that a loved one is safe, especially if they get up often in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
To get more information about senior safety and setting up care, visit our website www.goldenhorizonseldercare.com or give us a call at (860)-388-1788. We are happy to discuss your options no matter what stage you’re at!
(This article was featured in the January 2023 edition of Old Saybrook Neighbors magazine)