As your loved ones get older it may fall on you to take responsibility for part of their care. But, as much as you love your senior family members, you still have your own life to live and your own family to take care of. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help your senior family member live independently while still making sure that they are cared for – all without turning it into a full-time responsibility for you to take on.
Ways to Help Your Senior Family Member Live Alone
Just because your senior family member is living by him or herself doesn’t mean that they have to be alone. As they grow older, senior family members will come to depend on their families more and more. The following tips will help you learn the best ways to be there for your senior family member, helping him or her out while still allowing them to maintain their independence.
1. Make sure they are prepared for emergencies. If you have a senior family member living alone, you want to make sure that they are prepared for an emergency in case you can’t be there. Make sure that the smoke detectors have fresh batteries and post emergency contacts on the fridge. If your family member is unsteady on his or her feet, you may also want to sign up for Life Alert or something similar.
2. Help them clean up their living space. Sometimes simple tasks like cleaning and organizing can be difficult for seniors but a cluttered living space is a hazard. Help your senior family member out by coming over once a week to do some cleaning.
3. Make sure your family member has plenty of food. Even if your senior family member is able to do his or her own grocery shopping, you should check in occasionally to make sure that they have what they need. You should also make sure that your family member is eating well and not just living off snacks. You can also invite them over for dinner once a week or so.
4. Provide them with homemade meals. If your senior family member has a hard time cooking (or a tendency to leave the stove on), consider making them some homemade meals that can be frozen and warmed up in the microwave.
5. Keep tabs on your family member’s health. Many seniors have trouble remembering to take their medication or remembering to go to the doctor. Help your senior family member out by organizing their pills in a weekly pill container and remind them when they are due for a doctor appointment. You may also have to help them when they need prescription refills.
If your senior family member wants to maintain his or her independence, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them out from time to time .Following the tips listed above will help your senior family member maintain a sense of self-sufficiency while you enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are cared for.
~ Glen Community Support