How to Help Your Loved Ones Age Gracefully
How to Help Your Loved Ones Age Gracefully
Babyboomers.com Staff

Witnessing your parents or a beloved uncle reaching older age and becoming increasingly dependent on people around them is as emotionally challenging for you as it is for them, especially if they were used to being fiercely independent and active.

Growing old is part of life, and unfortunately we cannot escape the reality of it, but we can prepare for changes that are inevitably coming. The more prepared you are, the more support you’ll be able to offer to the people you care about. Here are some of the most helpful tips to guide you through this journey.

Adjusting your loved one's home to suit their needs

As people age, everyday activities become difficult to manage. Slippery baths, stairs to the upper floor and loose rugs are all hazards that can cause an elderly person to fall, get a fracture and suffer from a series of consequential complications. 

Better safe than sorry is the right approach when assessing your loved one's home in terms of safety. Depending on their needs and physical ability, their current place of living may suffice for years to come as long as certain precautions are taken, such as:

  • Installing railings on both sides of the stairs and in the bathroom

  • Placing non-slip backing on all of the rugs (or removing them altogether) 

  • Replacing a bathtub with a shower

  • Removing cables and other items that could be a tripping hazard

  • Placing all of the necessities in the kitchen at an easily reachable height

Make sure to include your elderly loved one in as many decisions as possible when altering their home. It is their home, after all.

Choosing an assisted living facility

If your loved one's home cannot be altered into a safe and suitable living space, or if they need extra care and support in everyday activities, it may be time to consider moving into an assisted living facility. Most people would prefer to age in the comfort of their own home, but unfortunately, sometimes that is simply neither possible nor safe, especially if they are experiencing decreased mobility and/or mental decline.

If you do reach the decision to find an assisted living facility or a nursing home, organize to visit them in person with your loved one. Give them as much autonomy as possible in choosing the right place (presuming, of course, that they're still able to do so). Make a list of questions to ask ahead of time and go for a tour to get a sense of the atmosphere, facilities and the level of care provided.

Supporting their independence through reliable products and services

Technology has made giant leaps towards making the elderly as independent and comfortable as possible. Grocery stores often offer battery-powered scooters, Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious food to their homes and there are many geriatric products that can help alleviate daily ailments. 

When searching through the options, a supplier that offers high-quality products accompanied by exceptional customer service will make the process much easier. Simply Medical, for instance, offers over 5,000 products — from colostomy bags to mobility aids — that can be promptly delivered to your loved one’s residence. 

There are also plenty of technological advances designed to keep the elderly safe and bring you a piece of mind, such as wearable and in-home sensors that monitor their wellbeing, devices that dispense medications and emergency call services that can alert you within minutes.

Caring for your loved ones as they age

We all want two things in old age: dignity and comfort. Providing both to your loved ones can be challenging, but is achievable with resources you have at your disposal. The three key steps in making accommodations that work both for you and for your aging loved one are: doing extensive research, including them in as many decisions as possible and relying on trustworthy suppliers of products and services to support their needs.

Finally, don’t forget to seek support for your own emotional journey through this process. Bringing about necessary changes to keep your loved one safe and comfortable will ensure that the moments you get to spend together are focused on having fun and enjoying each other's company.





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