With the right systems in place, healthy seniors can live at home with minimal assistance. Whether you’re a part time or full time caretaker, you can take steps to assist your loved one with an independent lifestyle.
Check in Frequently
Establish a routine to check in with seniors living alone. Visit your loved one’s residence regularly. Check on things like medications, their need for refills and groceries. You may want to schedule a phone call every day or every few days just to touch base. Ensure that your loved one has access to emergency numbers, including your own.
Be Aware of Scams and Fraud
The FBI populates a list of common scams that prey on senior citizens. Familiarize yourself with the most common fraud schemes and share this information with your senior loved one. You may also want to ensure that your loved one’s phone number is unlisted and placed on do not call lists to help avoid potential problems. Consider posting a no soliciting sign on the front door as well.
Keep Safety Measures and Services Up to Date
Help seniors with medical programs and government assistance. The Department of Health and Human Services has a great online tool to help find local resources for seniors and their families. Seniors may require assistance traveling to doctor’s appointments, with in-home medical care or with legal needs. In the home, ensure that safety measures are updated, including smoke detectors and emergency systems.
Install Helpful Devices
Install handrails, bedrails and other devices to help seniors complete daily tasks safely and with minimal risk of injury. Avoid storage that requires climbing step stools or excessive reaching. Use a non-skid mat in the shower and a shower seat. Ask your loved one’s health care provider for recommendations on any medical equipment that may be necessarily in the home.
Know When to Intervene
The time will come when a senior citizen is no longer able to live independently or without constant help in the home. Keep an eye on behavior and be prepared to begin a transition to assisted living or a full time care facility if needed. Try not to feel guilty if you cannot function as the sole caregiver. Whatever solution your family agrees upon, it will be in your loved one’s best interests.
North Hills Hospital meets the medical needs of patients 65 and older at our Senior Health Clinic. In addition to specialized geriatric care, our social worker provides families with resources for independent living. We also offer senior educational seminars. For more information, please visit our Senior Health Clinic online or call (817) 255-1940.