Your mother and father are adamant. They are not moving. You’ve tried to convince them to downsize, get a house with a single level rather than dealing with the stairs, or even move in with you, your husband, and your family, but they refuse. They are comfortable where they are. They want to stay.
They have the right to decide that.
Even though you think it’s foolish, your parents have the right -both morally and legally- to decide where they live and what, if any, physical support and assistance they receive. However, that isn’t going to change your concerns about their safety.
Yes, safety can be compromised as people get older.
You’ve noticed it. Your mother and father don’t move as quickly as they used to. It takes him longer to get up from a chair. They are tentative when going up and down stairs. When going outside to head to the car, it might take them five or 10 minutes just to get there.
You’re patient, but you’re still worried.
You’ve also noticed that the house seems to be falling apart around them. The gutters haven’t been cleaned in years. There are leaves, sticks, and other debris along the walkways. Their outdoor patio area is showing signs of fatigue. Maybe you spotted a few lights in the ceilings that were out many months ago and they are still out.
Perhaps there are even more serious issues at stake here.
Home improvements and modifications may be necessary. They might not see it the same way, but what is it about these issues you spot that cause you concern? Is it a loose step? Is the tub or shower grungy and grimy? Do you notice how much difficulty they have easing down into a recliner or couch and think, ‘How much trouble are they having just going to the bathroom?’
Talk about these concerns. Explain what you’ve observed. Tell them why it’s so important to keep those walkways free of clutter and change the light bulbs. Many of these issues might be considered minor, but the older a person is, the weaker they are, the more serious these problems become.
A stair lift could be a great asset. Grab bars could be an invaluable way to keep them safe while bathing or even going to the bathroom. Repairing the patio or walkway, keeping it clean could improve safety tremendously.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees, especially when it’s you who is dealing with the natural process of aging and feel yourself slowing down. When a family member brings it up in a loving and calm and rational manner, it might become easier to see why these modifications or improvements could be essential to improving safety.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to improve senior home safety in Princeton Junction, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
Care Street Home Health Care LLC is a division of Ocean Healthcare, a network of New Jersey-based healthcare centers and services founded in 1973 by Melvin and Debbie Feigenbaum. Melvin and Debbie both came from warm, close-knit backgrounds that emphasize the centrality of family. The values of respect, responsibility, and dignity run deep in the Feigenbaum family; they share a strong sensitivity to the importance of caring for others, particularly the elderly and disabled.
The Care Street mission is straightforward and compelling: to provide a comprehensive range of the highest quality home health services in a professional and efficient manner that will enhance our clients' quality of life and empower families to keep their loved one at home.
Care Street has earned a reputation of excellence among hundreds of families, and is recommended by medical professionals and hospital discharge planners throughout the State.
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