Supporting Seniors When They're Not Ready For Assisted Living, Part 1
The good news is that senior Americans are living longer and better than ever. The bad news is that even with the explosion of senior living communities, many older adults are hesitant to make the move from independent living in their home. This reluctance weighs on adult children, who find themselves in the early stages of parenting their parents. If you're in that challenging spot, where your parents or maybe a spouse needs help with daily activities but isn't ready to give up their independence yet, here are some ways to cope now and prepare for future assisted living.
Declutter and Tidy
The best way to keep an older person stable on their feet is to declutter the house so they can walk around without bumping into things. Take out small pieces of furniture--hall tables, side chairs, and benches--to ensure smooth passage. As you remove things, decide whether to store, donate, or throw out those items.
Manage the Slippery Slope
With seniors, even a smooth flat surface can mean a bad fall. Try to make the floors of the house as Velcro like as possible; putting rugs on slick hardwood or tile floors, and installing grab bars in the bathrooms. Keep ice melt handy in the winter, so steps and the driveway aren't a hazard. When stairs become difficult, a stair chair might be an option so they can stay home a bit longer.
Set Aside Time For Chores
You'll need to pitch in again with the chores you hated as a kid. If you can, hire a cleaning or yard service, If not, work out a schedule with your siblings and children to take care of the things that are beyond your parent's scope now.
Get Involved With Health Care
Now is the time to get up to speed on your parents health and any medical issues they're dealing with. You'll need to be on HIPPAA forms as someone the doctors can speak with, and ensure their medical powers of attorney are up to date.
It's never too early to start the conversation about assisted living, and the earlier you begin the less stressful it is for the seniors in your life. Having a plan years out takes the anxiety away for the entire family.
If you need help getting started with the purging and packing or moving a family member into Assisted Living, give Pack-n-Send a call and we can help you with any and all aspects of packing, moving and shipping.