It is a fact of life that everyone reaches a point where they start to worry about their parent’s health.
We spend so many years feeling like they are indestructible and will be around forever, but at a certain point you will notice that they are starting to find certain things a lot more difficult.
Sometimes, this change can be sudden and can come about following an illness or an injury. But it can also be a slower process, as you find that they are a little less able to get around and enjoy themselves than they used to be.
Of course, you will want to take every possible step to ensure that they are as comfortable and as independent as they can be. With reports of care shortages in the UK, you may also want to do this yourself. This is not always the easiest task, especially if they are the kind of parents who reject any kind of assistance or suggestion that they might need it (we will go into this in more detail in just a moment!). But there are plenty of things that you can do to help them as they go through this stage of life. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Always Check With Them First
This is an absolute must. If you are going to be making any sort of change to your parent’s home, or if you are thinking about buying a new kind of vehicle for them, then it is always a good idea to run it by them first. Now, some older parents will say no on principle, which is why it is important to have your argument and your facts checked before you talk to them. It may take a couple of attempts, but it is better to introduce them to the concept early than spring it on them as a surprise.
Look At How Accessible Their Home Is
Understandably, a lot of older people would much rather stay in their own homes for as long as possible instead of moving into an assisted living facility or care home. However, this can come with many risks, especially if they struggle with mobility issues. If your parents have lived in the same home for a long time, it can be extremely disorienting, not to mention upsetting, to find that they can no longer handle the stairs as they used to. Many people find that the bath or shower becomes much more of a challenge. It would be best if you thought about what changes you can make to their home to make it more accessible and identify potential risk factors that you can adjust. Widening steps and doorways, installing a shower seat, turning the bathroom into a wet room, and moving a bedroom downstairs are just a few of the options that you could consider.
Help Them To Get Around
Losing access to your car can be an incredibly tough thing to go through. It is one of the biggest moments of losing your independence as an older person and it can be devastating to realise that this is not something you will get back. If your parents have always loved getting out and about, whether it is for long trips away or just popping to the shops, you should think about how you can help them to get around and stay mobile. Something that you and your family might want to consider is investing in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle (or WAV for short). These vehicles have been converted so that a passenger in a wheelchair can easily travel with their families. To find out more about wheelchairs accessible vehicles or to discuss conversion, talk to the team at Allied Mobility. They have years of experience and build over 3,000 mobility each year, and you can learn more when you visit alliedmobility.com
Don’t Be Afraid To Think Small
Not every change that you make to your parents’ home or lifestyle to make things easier for them needs to be massive. There are plenty of little things that you can do which will make a big difference. While a major home project is important, you could also think about the everyday tasks that could use a little alteration. If your parents love cooking but have started to struggle with joint pain, for example, then you could look at kitchen tools that are easier to operate. If they are finding the recent rise in energy prices hard to get their heads around, make sure that you are there for any phone calls with suppliers and customer service. You could also think about giving them a voice-activated assistant for things like their television and radio. It may be a process of trial and error, but trying is important.