Sometimes we face tough decisions when our elderly loved ones need more help in their personal environment and with their overall health assessments. This can be especially difficult when they live a long distance from the family. Hazel Bridges is the creator of AgingWellness.org, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well. Below are some of her suggestions that can help us all arm ourselves with the “how to” knowledge we need to care for our elderly family members.
Tough Decisions: Senior Loved Ones and Long-Distance Living
Spending time away from your senior loved ones means you can miss vital signs about their wellbeing. Making assessments during visits can help give peace of mind and make things easier for seniors. Planning your visit is a great time to make a checklist of what to look for to help with your decision-making. Occasionally you might wonder whether it’s time to move them closer. They may be resistant to moving near you, however, the stability of the family jobs usually needs to be maintained.
How Things Look on the Outside
One of the first and easiest assessments to make is how things look on the outside. As you arrive at the house you’ll want to look over any landscaping issues or possible fall risks on the sidewalks or porch. This might be a good time to hire a landscaping crew or call someone to clean gutters or make any exterior repairs and updates. Don’t forget to do some research by looking up professional landscaping reviews; knowing who to call will also help make your move easier should you decide it’s time to move closer.
Sometimes a simple thing like adding a new railing or repairing an existing one can create a safer environment for those living at home. Winters can be difficult for seniors, and it’s important to make sure sidewalks are clear of ice or other fall risks. It can also be time to assess any other changes that need to be done to the exterior of the home to improve the quality of life for your loved one.
Looking Over Your Loved Ones
Once inside, it’s a good idea to really take in how your loved ones are getting around or taking care of themselves. You’ll want to make sure they’re keeping up with their hygiene and can get around their space safely. It’s important to make sure they’re maintaining themselves, their health, and their social life.
With so many activities available, it could be worth finding events to attend or seeing if there are any activities for your loved one to participate in and to get an idea of what you could look forward to if you decide to relocate. If your loved one has difficulty getting around they may benefit from relocating to a different part of their home or a safety product to help in case of a fall.
Living Spaces and Safety Risks
Not only is the exterior of the home important but you’ll also want to make sure the interior of the home is clean, safe, and well-organized. A well-organized, decluttered space will also help them feel less stress. It might be a good idea to make a list of items a contractor needs to take a look at. Seniors may want to keep their independence by staying at home and making sure their home is safe is vital.
And if you think that your loved one should transition to an assisted living facility, make sure you discuss this with them delicately and respect their wishes. Also, do your research beforehand, which includes touring different facilities and asking questions.
Deciding What’s Best
There are tough decisions between finding a care home, creating upkeep criteria, or moving your loved ones closer to you. You can connect with local contractors or landscapers and look for reviews. It’s always a good idea to do research and look for deals or any assistance with project costs.