You’re a great son or daughter, concerned about your aging parents. So, how to keep aging parents in their homes? Yes, there are plenty of tricks you can pull out of your hat, but without understanding your home and its elements, keeping your parents in their home with simple upgrades won’t be easy.
Your goals might range from establishing safety for your aging parents or making them more comfortable. Either way, you may wish to stick to a budget, or you may prefer to invest as much money as possible in securing your parents’ home. Despite the goals you’re pursuing, some situations can arise without you knowing, and many of them could make the home less secure for your parents. Here is everything you need to know about how to keep aging parents in their home.
Make the House Wheelchair-Friendly
The first step is ensuring a stair lift and ramp inside and outside your parents’ home to keep them more secure. Part of knowing how to support aging parents in their home is being aware that their mobility may be limited, meaning they should stay inside for more extended periods. Additionally, since your parents may even be active in their wheelchairs, having wheelchair-accessible resources at home is key to ensuring they’re comfortable.
Now, you might be hesitant to want to spend a lot of money at once on this goal. But keep in mind that limited mobility in the home could lead to serious safety issues later.
Say your aging parents get trapped in a cluttered room or cornered somewhere where they can’t reach a doorknob. Having ramps and a stair lift nearby could make all the difference. Consider your parents’ ability to get around even while in a wheelchair. There’s no sense giving up on them now, so prioritize their safety first. Show your aging parents as much compassion and love as they showed you. Ensure they have the convenience and comfort to get around their homes efficiently, without obstacles.
Install Security Equipment
In worst-case scenarios, an aging parent could leave home, wander the streets, and get lost. Most often, with dementia and Alzheimer’s cases, aging parents may feel better if they can stay in a home where they’re safe and not worry about getting locked out of the house. Installing garage door keypads is a crucial step you can take toward the goal of security.
Learning how to keep aging parents in their home can be expensive, but you’ll still have to invest in technology designed to keep them safe despite the expense. Garage door keypads prevent your loved ones from inadvertently leaving the home and getting locked out of the house. With a secure passcode, the doors can remain locked or unlocked. If your loved ones lose their keys, the garage door keypad is a unique alternative.
For example, have you ever thought about outdoor security cameras? These cameras allow your aging parents to see who is in the front or back yard without having to leave home. Even installing Ring or Blink cameras serves the same purpose and costs you less money. Adding another set of eyes to the equation can only keep your parents safer. You can stop crime with cameras if you’re worried about thieves, burglars, or vandals. However, make sure your parents know how to get those devices to work. Good job. You took a huge step towards learning how to keep aging parents in their home.
Prepare for Power Outages
Despite your best intentions, nature has a way of striking when you least expect it. There are plenty of ways to prevent power outages in your home. To save time and get your aging parents started in the right direction, take an affordable approach to learning how to keep aging parents in their home. Before you do anything expensive, ensure you have a supply of extra flashlights, batteries, and candles. When all the lights go out, you want your parents to have the light they need to get around safely.
It all comes down to general preparedness. Many generators require considerable strength and effort to get going, and with your aging parents, pulling the cord to a generator could cause an unfortunate injury resulting in pain or discomfort. Even with a generator installation, your parents might be exposed to risks, especially if they have trouble getting the generator to work. Reduce this risk by getting ahead of the game and keeping the supplies you need in an electrical emergency. For learning how to keep aging parents in their home, it’s better to be prepared from day one than wait until later.
Keep the House Warm
You might not believe it, but if your parents are cold in their home, they may not even want to stay. Unfortunately, cold, aging parents might be tempted to wander off somewhere else and seek warmth. The goal is to learn how to keep aging parents in their home, so ensuring there’s enough warmth from their fireplace is the first track to providing what you’ve grasped.
A fireplace is a beautiful home addition that serves to add both warmth and comfort to the household. While your aging parents may not have a furnace or a heating system, a fireplace can collect heat in one central location and, in a small home, can quickly warm an entire house. For larger homes, a fireplace may take a longer time to heat the house, so for that reason, it pays to practice good fireplace upkeep. Ensure the chimney and fireplace are cleaned if your parents struggle to do so. Of course, you’ll also want to ensure the flame is always controlled. In learning to keep aging parents in their home, don’t risk starting a fire.
If you don’t like your aging parents relying on a fireplace, that’s understandable. Even now, fireplaces can be dangerous in the United States. If that’s the case, your family needs to revamp the home’s entire heating system. Your aging parents will need a reliable heat source from the furnace to the programmable thermostat. Hiring someone to conduct HVAC services is essential if there are problems. Please don’t make your aging parents handle the burden all by themselves.
Ensure Proper Airflow
Stop and take a deep breath next time you’re at your aging parents’ house. Do you notice anything? Is the air free of impurities like dust, dander, and dust mites? If your parents have been caring for their pets well enough, none of the contaminants that fill a home should impact your family. That is, as long as there’s proper airflow. You’ll know you’re getting adequate airflow in the house when the indoor air quality is crisp and clean.
Sometimes, the air filters in your parents’ home can get clogged, and air will stop passing through the ducts. An HVAC specialist knows that part of AC installation is ensuring enough ventilation goes through the system. Clogged air filters can lead to a poorly functioning unit. The problems here are endless.
Stop and think about how comfortably your parents should be living. They shouldn’t have to hire a window repair company. If you want to see them sweating and uncomfortable, procrastinate on hiring an HVAC specialist when needed. But that’s not the kind of person you are, so double-check the air quality. If you notice anything unusual, don’t hesitate to call for help. An HVAC technician is only a phone call away.
Make Necessary Repairs
Remember, the goal is to understand how to keep aging parents in their home. From the shingles on the roof to the broken doorknob handles, the list of repairs in your aging parents’ home may grow long. With that in mind, making repairs keeps them comfortable. As long as appliances and fixtures are working correctly and efficiently, you won’t have to worry about your aging parents having to run to the neighbors all the time to ask for help.
But even then, some repairs are going to require the work of a professional to handle. These are the types of repairs that could lead to devastating damage. For example, if there are water leaks or clogged drains, hiring a plumber should be a no-brainer unless you can keep up with the tasks yourself. Not ideal if you want your parents to enjoy their comfort at home alone. That means necessary repairs for problems that could lead to worse damage must be handled immediately. Look around and come up with a checklist to get started.
If it’s broken, chances are it can be repaired. If it’s permanently damaged, it needs to be replaced. Check and recheck everything, including the chairs, bedframes, cabinets, and window frames. If the question is how to keep aging parents in their home, then one of your answers should be to make all necessary repairs. Ideally, as fast as possible.
Keep the House Germ-Free
There’s a solid chance your parents are big on cleanliness. As you get older, you pay attention to the small details. The stains on the wall and the buildup in the bathroom. Even the slightest mold or mildew could cause your loved ones to panic. If you want to know how to keep aging parents in their home with simple upgrades, understand that one of the most important lessons to learn is the concept of cleanliness.
Have you ever lived in a cluttered, dirty home and felt like you had the urge to escape the house every chance you got? You probably have because clutter and bacteria lead to increased anxiety and depression, so your parents won’t want to stay in the house unless everything is spotless. Cleanliness will keep your parents comfortable in their home by disinfecting surfaces or scrubbing a toilet bowl.
But once you’ve handled the rooms, there’s one more area to focus on: above all, the carpet should be one of your top concerns as a son or daughter. As mentioned earlier, plenty of bugs and contaminants are lurking in your carpet. But did you know that some bacteria can lead to serious health concerns?
From asthma to bronchitis to the common cold and the flu, bad things can happen if you don’t invest in a carpet cleaner. And not only a carpet cleaner, but an entire professional carpet cleaning job. The carpet needs to be cleaned and eventually replaced within a year.
Don’t skip out on cleaning your carpet. If you keep your promise to learn how to keep aging parents inside their home, they’ll indeed thank you in the future.
Hire a Live-in-Aid
Finally, one solution you should consider is to bring in a live-in-aid or nanny. Your aging parents may have health and mobility problems that make it challenging to keep up with everyday tasks, whether it’s cleaning, cooking, transportation, or answering calls. A live-in-aid can attend to many responsibilities your parents can’t address, so when it’s time to handle even more critical tasks, a live-in-aid can help your parents keep going forward with strength.
Part of learning how to keep aging parents in their home is ensuring they stay engaged. Whether it’s knitting, bicycling, chess, and basketball, never make the mistake of assuming your aging parents don’t have energy. Invest in making their time special, and they’ll have more time to stay attentive to the interests they enjoy. You might also want to invest in adult care services if your parents are bored during the day.
There you have it. You did all the hard work. You invested time in learning how to keep aging parents in their home. While working through the upgrades might not have been easy, at least now you know that in the future, you don’t have to worry about aging parents running out of the house.
One of the first steps was making sure the home was wheelchair accessible. Then, you had to take the time to add security cameras and garage door keypads. You realize you could focus on cleanliness and your home’s HVAC system. Now you have everything you need to keep your parents safe. In the future, make their years special by ensuring they’re as comfortable in their home as they always dreamed.