How to Care for Aging Parents – Helping Parents Stay Home

For many of us, there comes a time when our parents are becoming noticeably frailer, and decisions concerning their daily living and care become an ever greater responsibility. We all age differently, and the decision as to where an elderly parent should live must take into account their abilities and even their personalities. Because we love them, we want them to  as independent as possible, yet we must also be realistic.

After my Dad died, my brothers and I offered to help my mother move into an assisted care facility, but it was obvious how upsetting that idea was for her. She’s always been a very independent person, with a strong attachment to her home, and although she’s over eighty, she’s still fairly mobile and able to look after herself. Rather than putting her through the stress of a move, we decided to invest in modifying her home, ensuring that home care assistance will be viable when the time comes.

Safety first for aging parents

My mother had a bad fall two years ago, breaking her left hip. Although she healed well from the hip replacement surgery, the recovery left her much frailer than she was before. Our biggest worry since then has been that she could fall again, and the place that could most easily happen is her own bathroom. That’s why we started the renovations there, installing a walk-in tub, and non-slip flooring. The one we chose was the ‘Celebrity Walk-In Bathtub’, and Mom fell in love with it immediately, especially when she discovered the warm air jets! You can see the one we chose here called Serenity Walk-in bathtub. It was a great help to her self-confidence, because she is now able to easily bathe herself again. We foresee that she’ll probably need a full-time home care nurse in the next couple years, and when that happens, the walk-in bathtub will make it much easier to help her in the bathroom.

Taking care of elderly parents can be stressful, both for you and for them, especially as their physical function begins to decline. Preserving dignity is so important, and it’s certainly a major reason why so many aging parents want to stay home instead of moving to a nursing home. Rather than sticking your head in the sand, try to think ahead, and install the necessary equipment in the home. This kind of forward thinking is vital when you’re taking care of aging parents at home. Waiting until AFTER a fall happens means medical costs, loss of function for the senior, and an additional stress load for all.

Create the right environment for a home care provider to succeed

Many people seem to imagine that, when it comes to taking care of aging parents at home, simply hiring a home care nurse is going to be the answer to everything. But in order for this solution to succeed, the home care nurse needs the right equipment. Various items can make all the difference, and you need to take into account each of daily activity that may need active or passive support. Do you need to replace a shower or tub with a senior safe tub? Have you checked for danger spots, where the floor gets slippery, or there’s nothing to hold on to? Where do you need safety bars? Should you be installing a stair lift? Or a reclining lift chair? If your elderly parent suffers from arthritis, have you checked through the kitchen, and replaced appliances that hurt their hands? There are suitable replacements for most home gadgets that do not require the use of pressure (painful to arthritic hands).

As you start to think these things through, you will be creating a solution that’s specific for taking care of YOUR aging parents at home. I’d recommend going to and taking a look at their range of specialized bath safety products. They’re really great quality, and I found I got a lot of good ideas for my Mom’s safety and comfort by just seeing what’s available. Hopefully, you’ll experience what I did – the huge reward of knowing that I’ve just given my Mom the gift of safe independence in her own home, and the knowledge that she doesn’t have to leave the place she loves so much.

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