caring for elderly parents

You’ve just finished speaking with Dad on the telephone, and now have a concern that something isn’t quite right. Though it was a nice conversation, his memory lapses were concerning. He assured you that he’s perfectly fine – that he’s eating very well (despite the fact that he couldn’t recall what he had for lunch), taking his medications, and having no issue keeping up with the household responsibilities. If you are caring for elderly parents and not fully convinced that a loved one is completely safe and self-sustaining, a good first step is to schedule an in-home assessment from an established home care provider, like Absolute Companion Care.

A consultation enables a knowledgeable, objective third party professional to talk with your elder loved one in the comfort and familiarity of home, while assessing several critical areas.

The Senior’s General Wellbeing

During the consultation, the home care expert will find out how the elder is feeling, both physically and emotionally.

  • Is he or she bored or lonely?
  • Physically active?
  • Steady and balanced, or at an increased risk for a fall?

Additionally, cognitive wellness is reviewed.

  • Is the senior forgetful?
  • Are there any concerns with wandering, agitation, aggression, confusion?
  • Does she or he seem capable of successfully managing the household?

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

It is essential for an elder living independently to be able to attend to everyday tasks that fall into two categories: ADLs and IADLs.

ADLs include activities such as:

  • Self-feeding
  • Showering/bathing as well as other personal hygiene needs
  • Getting dressed
  • Using the toilet
  • Moving from bed to chair and throughout the house independently

IADLs are less fundamental, but still imperative to independent living, and include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Shopping and running errands
  • Taking medications as prescribed
  • Making and receiving phone calls
  • Bill paying/money management

The House Environment

The in-home consultant can also assess the elder’s living space for any potential risks and hazards, such as:

  • Issues that may contribute to a fall: low-lying furniture, clutter or electric cords in the elder’s walking paths, stairways without proper handrails, no grab bars in the bathroom, loose throw rugs, and much more
  • If there are fresh foods readily available that are not beyond the expiration date, moldy, etc.
  • Whether there are any indications of accidents, such as burn marks on the counters or scorched pots/pans
  • Unopened mail piled up
  • Dirty dishes stacked on the counters, or any other indicators of difficulty with maintaining the house to healthy standards

Based on the results of the assessment, the home care professional can create a personalized care plan, outlining aging care solutions which an in-home caregiver can implement to help overcome any challenges being experienced. Often with just a little support, elders can continue to live and thrive at home where it’s most comfortable, with enhanced safety to bring families peace of mind, while never sacrificing the older adult’s freedom and independence.

Get in touch with Absolute Companion Care, providers of home care in Timonium and nearby communities, to arrange for a complimentary in-home consultation for an elder you love today! You can connect with us any time online at 410-357-9640 to learn more about caring for elderly parents safely at home.