When you are old enough to have aging parents, it can be a difficult time in your life as well as theirs. Both generations may have a hard time in your new and reversed roles, and one of you may end up frustrated or resentful. While many life changes come with aging, you and your parent will cope better if you allow your parent as much independence and sense of identity as possible. While there are many things that your aging parents can no longer do for themselves, the more you can help them to be independent and maintain their identity, the easier things will go for both of you. Whether your aging parents still live on their own, or are living with you in your home, the following article can help you out, as it outlines some ways to help your elderly parents maintain their independence, such as installing Designer Grab Bars in the bathroom so that they can bathe themselves and go to the bathroom safely and independently.
Helping Your Elderly Parent Maintain His Independence
The aging process is difficult, and the loss of friends and loved ones, mobility, and independence can take a huge toll on the health and emotional well-being of your parent. In addition to the difficulty your parent is experiencing, you yourself may struggle with finding the time to adequately care for your parent, and with the new role you are taking on. The following list may make the transition easier for both of you, as it outlines how to help your elderly parent maintain his or her independence.
- Get your parent a cell phone: Get your parent a simple cell phone with large numbers and a big screen. Teach him how to use it, and then make sure he keeps it with him at all times. Explain that this phone is a big part of his independence, and that it makes you feel safer if he has it at all times.
- Move all objects within arm’s reach: Remove all objects from upper cabinets and top shelves. If everything is easy to reach, you will have less to worry about your parent, and he will feel like he can complete tasks and projects without having to call you for help.
- Make the bathroom safe: The bathroom is a particularly treacherous room for the elderly. The water presents challenges and dangers, and your parent has a much harder time getting up and down than he used to. Things that were once easy are now difficult and dangerous, and your parent may handle this difficulty in a variety of ways. He may be resentful and take it out on you, or he may be stubborn and insist he does not need help, essentially in denial about his situation. In order to make things easier for your parent and to allow for more independence, you can have Designer Grab Bars installed around the toilet, bathtub, and inside the shower to allow your parent to get in and out of those areas easily and safely. There are also bathtub chairs that allow the elderly to sit down in the shower or tub, and then get out easier. There are even special tubs you can have installed that are safer because they do not require the senior to lift his leg to get into the tub.