How to keep your elderly relative safe at home for as long as possible

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Since I’ve been working at my local nursing home (I work there most Thursdays), it’s really opened my eyes into elderly care. It has made me think more about my parents and in laws, although they are healthy and well at the moment you never know what the future holds. For my own health and husband’s health too, how will we handle growing old? You like to think it will be all romantic, growing old together but the reality is often one will outlive the other, and one may end up becoming a carer to their partner and make some tough decisions.

We’ve had some frank discussions together, I’m happy to go into a home because I don’t want to be a burden if I get dementia, but I want a specific type of home! For my parents and in laws, I would want to keep them at home for as long as possible. There’s nothing like being in your own home and environment, no matter what your mind is like. If it’s safe, keep them home. I feel like they’ve looked after us and our children all their lives, I want to return the favour. It’s different for everyone of course, and there’s no right or wrong.

I’ve picked up lots of ways that can help this objective and they don’t have to cost the earth. The best way of course is to get together as a family and involve the wider community. Neighbours and friends will be only too happy to pitch in, if everyone can do something small, it will all add up. Visiting regularly will lessen hospital admissions and prevent falls, dehydration and malnutrition.

  1. Organise a meals on wheels service
  2. Make sure you apply for any benefits they are entitled to
  3. Ask social services for help with carers, they can come up to four times a day
  4. Adapt the bath to a walk in bath or shower
  5. Get a stair lift or adapt the downstairs to include a bedroom
  6. Ensure they have walking aids and any other equipment they need
  7. Keep up with the maintenance of the home
  8. Look into local charities like a befriending service
  9. Organise online shopping
  10. Batch cook and freeze meals
  11. Make sure they drink and eat enough

Gadgets and equipment that can help

You don’t want to overwhelm them with new things, especially when they have dementia, but if they are struggling with mobility issues then there are so many little things that can make a big difference. When your loved one is suffering from dementia, they go back to a time when they were younger and didn’t need any help, so they will often forget to use their aids, resulting in more falls. It is so important to have people regularly checking in on them. Make sure their hearing aids are regularly serviced and have working batteries in them, and keep up with eye tests and glasses prescriptions. See the dentist regularly. These are some of the gadgets you can get

  1. An extending arm grabber (like you use for litter picking)
  2. An extra loud doorbell
  3. A mobile phone suited to their ability
  4. Garden kneeling stool
  5. Easy open containers
  6. Electric can opener
  7. Kettle Tippers
  8. Magnifying glass
  9. Easy jar opener
  10. Dressing aids like button fastener, sock aid
  11. Long handled shoe horn
  12. Zip fastener
  13. Perching stool
  14. Bath board
  15. Back scrubber
  16. Back scratcher
  17. Bath/shower chair
  18. Grab rails
  19. Personal alarm
  20. Robot vacuum cleaner
  21. Talking alarm clock
  22. Alexa
  23. Swivel seat cushion for the car
  24. Power lift recliner chair
  25. Electric bed

Hopefully this post has given you some ideas and help to keep your loved one at home that little bit longer and inspired you to look in on your elderly neighbours and friends. Let me know if you have a comment by sharing below.

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September 10, 2019
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