Help the elderly stay safe

What today’s elderly want most is to age in a place where they feel safe and secure. What they fear most is to lose their independence. But what they’re least likely to ask for is the kind of help that will keep them comfortable and safe at home. That’s why it’s often up to the adult children of ageing parents or other relatives to look for the signs that their elderly loved one needs help at home.
The elderly often don’t recognise when they require help that’s why adult children should identify where their loved ones need assistance. Providing the elderly with assistance with a few basic tasks – such as meal preparation, light housework, companionship and medication reminders can make a huge difference to an elderly parent.
Look-and-See Signs of Ageing
• Look in refrigerator, freezer and drawers. Has food spoiled because your loved one can’t get to the shops / grocers?
• Look over the shopping list. Has your loved one’s declining health prompted him / her to purchase more convenience and junk foods, and neglect proper nutrition? Is he / she losing weight?
• Look down at floors and stairways. Have shaky hands spilled drinks and food, soiling vinyl, wood, carpets and walkways? Are frayed carpets, throw rugs, objects and furniture creating tripping hazards?
• Look through the mail. Is your loved one’s dementia causing him / her to forget to pay bills and answer correspondence?
• Look below bathroom and kitchen sinks. Is poor eyesight making it difficult for your elderly relative to read medication labels and to properly store cleaning materials? Is he / she forgetting to refill medications and to take them on schedule? Check the refill date against the number of pills in the bottle to help determine if your loved one is taking medication regularly. Or call the pharmacy.
• Look to your parents’ neighbours and other close friends to find out about their daily routine. Are your loved ones at home more, watching television and avoiding stimulating conversation and companionship?
• Look under beds and sofas. Is your senior having difficulty organizing old newspapers, books and magazines, which are creating a fire hazard?

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home