Our parents spend a lifetime worrying about us, then in later life, there is a shift, and we spend much of our time concerned about them. When they reach an age where they are not as capable as they once were, it can make you worry about their safety, especially if they live alone. Thankfully there are many things you can do to ease the concern.
Here are 6 great ways to help ease the worry of elderly parents living alone.
Thanks to mobile phones, it’s never been easier to keep in touch with your loved ones which will help to ease much of the anxiety you may have when it comes to your parents. Knowing you can text whenever you feel the need to check on them can make a big difference. A quick text in the evening to say goodnight and check they are ok should also make things a bit easier for you.
Get some external help
As we get older, we may become less able to do certain things such as cleaning, cooking, or even gardening, so you may worry about your parents trying to cope with it all. If this is the case, why not consider getting in some extra help? It could be a cleaner, someone to help with their meals, or may even just someone to come in and offer a bit of company when they most need it.
An extra pair of hands could make things easier for them and help to alleviate some of your fears.
One of the biggest apprehensions you may have is something happening to your parents when you are not there and that they can’t get the help they require. If this sounds familiar, you might want to consider whether a medical alert system could be of benefit.
Many of the most popular medical alert systems work at the push of a button via a watch or neck strap worn by the user. If an emergency arises or they feel distressed, the service user can immediately talk to a response team who will either help them over the phone or arrange to have someone visit their home to check on them. There are many different medical alert products and service packages available to suit a range of budgets, so you should be able to find something to suit your needs.
Make home adjustments
To minimize the risk of accidents and keep your parents as comfortable as possible, you may need to make home adjustments once in a while. For example, if they struggle to get in and out of bed every day, an electric bed might make all the difference. If things they use consistently are in high cupboards, consider moving things around to make everything more accessible.
Be on the lookout for trip hazards such as cables, rugs, or random items laying around and try to make their home as safe as it possibly can be. The fewer risks there are, the less you will worry about accidents happening.
Consider a smart doorbell
A smart doorbell is a great idea and very useful for the elderly or infirm who perhaps can’t get to the door very quickly. Many have a video and two-way speaker function so you can see or speak to whoever is at your door without even having to get up. Not only could this help to reduce the worries you may have of strangers turning up at your parents’ door, but you can monitor activity from your phone too.
If anyone visits, you can watch or listen to the whole thing regardless of where you are. A smart doorbell is not only practical and functional but is a fabulous security measure too.
Recognize what they are capable of
Being aware of your parents’ capabilities is very important, or you could lose sight of the bigger picture. You may want to mother them and protect them, but you have to give them some leeway too. Getting older and losing some of your independence can take its toll emotionally, so be sure to let your parent do things for themselves whenever possible.
If they need assistance or feel they can’t cope with something, they will probably ask for help anyway. The less your parents do unaided, the more their bodies and minds may slow down. Where possible, encourage them to stay active and leave them to do what they feel they can manage.