So many of us now have aging parents that we help occasionally or full time as they age in their own homes. To help them avoid potential problem areas here are a few simple tips to follow.
First remove all throw rugs from the home. Throw rugs are one of the leading causes for falls in the home, and oftentimes they can lead to a broken hip, which can lead to a steep decline in health. You may also want to install grab rails for the shower and tub to assist them in getting in and out safely.
Second, take a good long look at your parents medication list and make sure they do not have counter intuitive medications. This means medicines that fight against one another, or medications that can exacerbate symptoms of aging. For example, if your parent happens to be taking an SSRI aka a serotonin inducer during the evening, it is likely to keep them up at night. Sometimes this condition is misdiagnosed as a dementia related illness, but if you talk to your parents primary care provider they can adjust the time the medication is given, which in many instances will eliminate the symptoms of being awake at night.
Additionally always check in your parents refrigerator to make sure their milk and other time sensitive foods have not expired. Seems like basic information, but you would be surprised how pervasive out of date foods are for seniors.
Basically this all comes down to being vigilant so that problems do not arise for our parents in their own homes. Don’t be surprised if you are rebuffed when you make these suggestions because our parents are very proud and may not feel they need any help, or be embarrassed to ask for help. Some of this you can do on the sly, but other more important decisions may require you sit down and have a heart to heart with your Mom or Dad, and make sure the talk is from a perspective of love and caring.