Do you have concerns about an elderly parent living independently? Over a quarter of adults over 60 live alone. In addition, almost half of these seniors only live with a spouse or partner, who may also be aging.
While a spry 60-year-old might not cause much concern, almost everybody suffers from mental or physical decline as they age. At the same time, many older people hope to maintain as much independence as possible. Take a few moments to learn when elderly parents can’t live at home without help and how to find the perfect partner to help care for your parents and alleviate your concerns.
Can My Elderly Parent Live Alone?
Because of a healthy lifestyle, good genes or adequate support, some older adults perform well independently for a long time. Even so, prudent loved ones will want to check in regularly because the situation may change rapidly.
Even seniors who appear relatively healthy and active may not respond or adapt rapidly to unusual circumstances, such as an illness, a scam call, a fire alarm or a plumbing issue. Thus, older people may need somebody to call upon them to see if they need a helping hand.
Can my elderly parent live alone without assistance? Tasks that your elderly loved one should handle with little assistance include:
- Proper hygiene: Consider your parent’s ability to bathe, groom, toilet and do laundry without much help.
- Healthy meal preparation and grocery shopping: Consider how well your parent stocks the fridge or pantry, prepares food, and tidies the kitchen area.
- Transportation and mobility: Understand how loved ones navigate their home, proactively remove tripping hazards, and leave home for shopping or appointments.
- Medication management: Do your parents make it to doctor’s appointments, remember to pick up prescriptions, and take their medicine as the doctor ordered?
- Home and financial management: Are bills paid on time, and are there any urgent home maintenance issues?
- Maintaining social connections: Social circles tend to shrink as people age, just when it’s most important to maintain a strong support network. Some older adults can benefit from companionship, even if they seem to manage their daily lives relatively well.
Naturally, you should consider all of these critical aspects of self-care in light of your parent’s unique circumstances. For instance, you may feel concerned about transportation because your aging parents no longer drive. However, many people can rely on grocery and prescription delivery services, taxis and public transportation. However, sometimes older people decline mentally or physically so much that they struggle to access even essential services and require a responsible companion to assist them.
How to Know When Aging Parents Can’t Live Alone
Severe cognitive or physical decline may signal caring family members to search for an assisted living facility. If your elderly parents can’t handle most of the tasks listed above, even after making accommodations, they are unsafe living at home unsupervised. However, people who can handle some or most of their essential needs may thrive with additional help at home and extra care, etc.
You, like most adult children of elderly parents, probably already spend most of your time attending to such responsibilities as child rearing, working and maintaining your household. Most people would need to learn how to be in two places at once to add the entire burden of home health care for parents to their schedules. Since you can’t do it all, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek help.
How to Help Ensure Your Elderly Parent’s Health and Safety
You can engage a broad range of reliable services to act in your place. Examples of home healthcare services include:
- Part- or full-time caregivers
- Transportation and assistance around the house
- Medication or case management by licensed nurses
Seniors living in assisted- or independent-living facilities may also access caregivers who can keep them from needing higher care levels. You can help your elderly parents retain as much independence as possible. In addition, this extra care may prove more affordable and less disruptive than having to move your loved one to another facility. At the same time, you’ll enjoy the security of knowing that professionals will care for your loved ones when you can’t.
Still worried about an elderly parent living alone? Don’t leave your loved one’s health and safety to chance. Find out more about the full suite of home healthcare services offered by Custom Home Care. Qualified, caring professionals can provide everything from personal care for seniors to professional case and medication management from licensed nurses.
Even if your aging mother or father could benefit from regular visits and check-ins from a senior companion, Custom Home Care will provide that, too. When aging parents can’t live alone, Custom Home Care will fill the gaps.