If you’re one of the many Canadians caring for an older loved one at home their safety can be a very real concern in the home setting especially. Start by conducting a room by room inspection noting any ways you can lessen the possibility of them experiencing a fall. The bathroom is the room that presents the biggest and most frequent room that falls occur so a good place to start.
Here are 6 tips to help keep your loved one safe at home.
- Let there be light – poor visibility puts seniors at risk for falls with their diminished eyesight, install the highest wattage possible at entrances, hallways and staircases. Consider putting in glow in the dark light switches or motion sensor lighting throughout the home so older loved ones don’t need to struggle to find switches in the dark.
- Easy access to doors and windows for seniors with arthritis – for those with arthritis working door knobs and windows can be a challenge. Changing out hardware to flat handles can make dealing with them much easier.
- Restrict access to doors and windows for seniors with dementia – if the person in your care has dementia it’s critical to limit access to the outdoors ( in case the wander ) as well as anything that could cause them harm. Chemicals, household cleaners and medicines should be secured to prevent accidental ingestion.
- Assist in mobility – remove any items that could be an obstacle in their path, a walk in shower is the best option and will assist their mobility.
- Make it easy to summon help – despite your best efforts the unexpected can happen so enlist a way for them to call for help. A call assisted service allows them to have help in a matter of minutes by pressing a button on a device around their neck or worn on their wrist. Even a cell phone they can carry with them or a home phone within easy reach in the areas of the home they spend most of their time will allow them to call for help if needed.
- Use at home safety devices – there are a few products that are designed to keep seniors safe for example Impactive Hip Protectors are made to protect a seniors hip should they fall. These light and comfortable underwear come in a number of designs for men and women and will shield the hip from a fracture during a fall.
Stairlifts and Vancouver home elevators provide greater mobility for the senior in your home, in Vancouver contact Home Elevators now to discuss your options.
We live in such a transient world which means often our ageing parents live across the city, country or even a world away. You may be left wondering if they’re doing alright, need help or if they’re feeling lonely. The way you’re feeling is probably a lot like they felt if you moved away from your hometown. There are still some good ways you can still support them whether they live in the same city or farther away, continue reading for some useful ideas.
Schedule Regular Visits
If you are lucky enough to live in the same city try to visit a few times a month, visiting your loved one in a Victoria BC Care Home in the same day of the week will help them know when to expect you. Help Mom or Dad by cleaning the house, organizing belongings or medications or simply keep them company. Engage in a game of cards, playing board games, even a walk will ensure their minds stay sharp and their bodies remain as active as possible.
Check in Remotely
Maybe you don’t live close enough to visit often, however there are other ways to support them. Call Mom or Dad regularly, send emails ( with family updates ) or set up a video chat if possible. With many seniors using the internet and even if they’re not tech savy show them how to use Skype next time you visit – or have someone show them how.
Send Gifts or Letters
A small gesture to let them know you’re thinking of them is a great way to show them that you care. Research has shown that chronic loneliness and depression can result in high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and increased cortisol ( a stress hormone ) in seniors. Let them know you’re thinking about them by sending handwritten letters, flowers or other gifts and can make a huge difference and brighten their day.
Hire a Caregiver
You may still be employed full time or distance prevents you from visiting as often as you would otherwise. Hiring a caregiver is an option, especially if they want to remain in the place they’re familiar with, their home. Caregivers provide peace of mind for the family and support for seniors in many ways. During visits they do household chores, meal prep, shop and provide much needed companionship.
There can come a time when Mom or Dad requires the additional care provided by long term facilities, in Victoria BC contact Clover Point Care when you want the best for your family.
With the aging population in Canada, many adult children may take on caring for their parents instead of pacing them in a nursing hime like Craigdarroch Care Home. People who have long-term illnesses or disabilities often receive care from family members, too. If you are a caregiver for your loved one, we have a few tips for you to manage the stress that comes with caregiving.
Recognize your role as a caregiver
You may not think of yourself as a caregiver, but if you are actively providing help to a loved one, that is what you are. It is important to recognize that this role takes up a lot of your time and energy, no matter how much you love the person you’re caring for.
Know the risk factors for experiencing caregiver stress
If you live with the person you care for or feel socially isolated, you are more likely to feel stressed. Other risk factors include having to spend a high number of hours caregiving, having no choice in becoming a caregiver, and having limited coping and problem solving skills. Females and people with limited years of formal education, with depression, or with financial difficulties are also more prone to caregiver stress.
Know when you are stressed
When you are so busy caring for someone else, you may not pay attention to yourself enough. You may have caregiver stress if any of the following applies to you:
- You’re easily angered or irritated
- You sleep too much or too little
- You’re constantly worried, overwhelmed, or sad
- You’re often tired or have lost interest in things you once enjoyed
- You have physical problems like headaches and other pains
- You abuse drugs or alcohol (includes prescription medications).
Know what to do to improve your situation
The first part is recognizing the signs–next you should do something about it. Here are some strategies you can try:
- Set goals for yourself, such as to improve your sleep or to exercise
- Seek support from a formal group (like Family Caregivers Network Support in Victoria) or friends and family on a regular basis–make it a priority
- Stick to your limits of what you can do with caregiving and other parts of your life
- Set a daily routine
- Take on help from others by making a list of what they could do for you, such as taking your loved one out for a few hours or shopping for you
- Know what options are out there for respite, such as short-term care and day centres
If caregiver stress has gotten to you, it may be time to put your loved one in a Victoria BC senior home.