Friday, November 9, 2012

Helping Your Elderly Parent Be Comfortable at Home

According to a 2009 survey by the AARP, more than 42 million Americans provide family care giving for an adult who needs help with daily activities.

Not everyone has the option or wants to place their parent or loved one in a nursing home; leaving the majority of the burden of home care up to the family member living closest to the parent.  When a nursing home or assisted living community is not one of your options you may need to consider planning daily visits, working out a visitation schedule with your siblings, hiring a home health aide or have the parent move into your home.

Both you and your loved one will benefit from making them as comfortable as possible while in the home.  Daily activities such as getting out of bed or up from a seated position, finding a comfortable sleeping position, personal care and grooming habits, walking, balance and mobility all may become increasing difficult to perform as you age. Often these activities are a result of a physical limitation due to a bad back, faulty knees or recovery from shoulder, knee or hip replacement. There is a wide selection of equipment and products on the market today which help the elderly live at home in comfort and safety.

Before you go broke purchasing a bunch of products which may go unused, here are some suggestions which should save you both time and money when considering which products will be best when providing in-home caring for your elderly parent or loved one. Observe which activities are most difficult for them to perform in their home.  They may have difficulty getting in and out of bed. An adjustable bed might be nice but they tend to be very costly.  An alternative may be a Mattress Genie which uses a remote to raise and lower the upper mattress.  They may wander around the house because sitting is painful but, you may never know unless you sit down and talk with your loved one about their difficulties.  A new cushion for their favorite chair may be the solution that makes them comfortable sitting.  Once they are comfortable sitting they may begin a new hobby, start doing crossword puzzles, knitting, watching television or other activities which may help relive their stress and stimulate their brain.

Getting a good nights rest has many health benefits for everyone and can be difficult to obtain as you get older.  Weather you have to get up several times during the night to use the bathroom or adjust your CPAP machine while you sleep, when you do not sleep well it is likely that you will be moody and miserable the next day.  Since caring for your loved one at home is difficult for the both of you a positive attitude plays a major role in the success of your endeavors.  Sometimes having that perfect pillow to sleep on at night can make all the difference in how happy you are the next day!