It can be difficult to see a loved one become an elder in need. They may have raised you and always seemed so strong and vibrant. While their condition may not have deteriorated to the point that they will need around-the-clock elder care and more, you still need to make sure that they are in a good situation. That’s why we have compiled this checklist of things that you can do to ensure that your elder is in good shape.
Ensure That You Always Have an Extra Key
You need to make sure that you will be able to let yourself in to check on them. There might be a time when your elder isn’t able to come to the door. Instead of having to use an emergency locksmith service, which could cost you both valuable time and money, get the extra key made while your elder is healthy. That way, it will always be available, and you can get to them if you absolutely have to.
While you have this extra key, you also need to talk with your elder about privacy and boundaries. They may still feel independent and want to have their downtime. Set up a schedule so that they will know exactly when you will be coming. You’ll have to work out some kind of way for you to be able to know if there’s an emergency, like if they fell. They might have a bracelet of some kind that they can use to let you know how they are – that way, if they need medical care, you can let the personnel in with the key rather than have to have them do something like break the door down. This is all part of elder care and more.
Make Sure Your Elder Has a Working HVAC System
The older a person gets, the more difficult it gets for them to be able to regulate their body temperature. This can be very dangerous, especially when there is any kind of extreme heat or cold. That’s why you need to have experts from heating and cooling services come and either install a new HVAC system or repair the existing one. You’ll be able to set the system to a certain temperature at all times so that your elder can be safe and comfortable.
This includes making sure that the HVAC system is the correct one for the place where they live. Do they have large rooms? They will need a large unit that will be able to heat or cool the room properly. The same goes for a small room, which will need a smaller unit. Otherwise, their room can be too hot or too cold, which will create an unsafe situation for them. If it’s too hot, they won’t be able to sweat. If it’s too cold, they might not be able to shiver.
This leads us to the next part of owning an HVAC system. You want to make sure that it’s regularly serviced, which means that the air filter is replaced so that it won’t get clogged. Typically, this should be done before the summer and winter. That way, your elder will have something that is working perfectly as intended and be living in a comfortable setting. It’s all part of elder care and more.
Know Where the Closest Urgent Care Centers Are Located
Your elder might get sick at a time when their primary care doctor is closed. An emergency room visit can be expensive, especially for something that is not life-threatening and would just need a prescription. Thankfully, there are a lot of urgent care clinics popping up that have qualified medical staff working there. These clinics tend to be significantly less than what an emergency room or even a hospital stay would cost. Find out what kind of medical insurance your elder has. Talk to the staff at the clinic and see what the charge would be.
As a result, do some research about what kind of urgent care clinics are in your elder’s neighborhood or fairly close by. This can save you a lot of frantic worrying and doing hasty research if they do get sick. While they may have some waiting times, they also tend to be a lot less than what your elder would face if they went to an emergency room, which could represent a wait of multiple hours. This is part of elder care and more.
Have a Good Dentist for Emergency Situations
Your elder may have healthy teeth for a long time, then things can happen to their oral health. Their teeth may get brittle. They may develop dry mouth, which can lead to tooth loss since bacteria can flourish due to the lack of saliva (which washes away that bacteria). You need to find a reliable dentist that can do things like tooth repairs.
When people think of elders, they tend to think of them as people who have dentures. With proper dental hygiene, those elders can keep their original teeth for a lot longer than people imagine. You just need to have a dentist who will take your elder on an emergency basis so that you won’t have to worry about having to have a hospital dentist see them — not that there’s anything wrong with how they do their job, it’s just more expensive. If your elder has dental issues, it can affect the rest of their body, and that can be dangerous for them as they get older. Consider this part of elder care and more.
Research the Best PT Professionals for Your Elder
As people get older, they become more at risk of getting injured. They may stumble and fall. They might hurt their back. There’s always the possibility that they will need surgery. All of these things can lead them to needing physical therapy rehab. You just want to make sure that they get the best PT professional for their needs.
You can do that by researching these PTs online. See which ones are near your elder, and whether they do home visits. That second part can be especially important if it’s difficult for them to get outside. Having the sessions be in their home environment, where they are more comfortable, will make it go by so much faster. As a result, their recovery can be smoother. You might want to be there for the first few sessions to see how you feel about the PT.
Purchase a Top-Level Mattress for Your Elder’s Sleep Health
While your elders might not need as much sleep as they did in the past, it’s important that the rest that they do get be high quality. You need to invest in a good mattress for them. It might even be a good idea to see about getting those beds or mattresses where they can be raised or lowered depending on whether the elder wants to fully lay down or partially recline. There can even be temperature controls.
Do some research to see what people are saying about particular mattresses. You also might need to see if the company that brings the new mattress will dispose of the old one or if you might need to see about a junk removal service — more on that later. Talk it over with your elders and make sure that they understand what the mattress does, especially if it has those extra features. Making sure that they sleep well is part of elder care and more.
Always Keep Sewing Materials Handy for Emergencies
Your elders might like wearing clothes that they grew up with. That is great since it can help keep them connected with the past, but those pieces of clothing can get tattered. Fortunately, with some sewing supplies, you can help restore them to how they looked before. Also, these materials won’t take up a lot of space. Just have them set aside in a corner. It’s easy to be prepared and order the materials online. As far as elder care and more goes, this is one of the simpler things to do. If you’re worried about making any mistakes, there are plenty of tutorials that you can find online to help you become a master of sewing in no time.
Rent a Dumpster to Clean Out Unnecessary Clutter
OK, this can be the harder part of elder care and more. People accumulate things throughout a lifetime. The line between a sentimental person and a hoarder can seem thin and easy to cross. You don’t want to have your elder living in a situation where they have to climb around things just to make their way around their home. That’s why you need an affordable dumpster rental so that you can get rid of things that you can’t sell or donate — some things just get into a condition where no one would want to touch them.
Here’s where you could use the services of a junk removal company too. They may have their own dumpster, so you can kill two birds with one stone. One important thing, though — you need to involve your elder in this. Just unilaterally deciding on what stays and what goes will create a tense situation between the two of you, and that’s something neither of you need. The goal is to be able to create space for your elder to live in and be comfortable. It’s also so that you won’t feel ill at ease when you do come visit a cluttered place.
Consider Scheduling a Skin Therapy Appointment
You can do this for a couple of reasons. Your elder might not like the fact that they have become, well, an elder. They might look in the mirror and hate that their skin is wrinkling and sagging. You can help them feel like they did in the past. The dermatology field has improved a lot over the past few decades. You can have them undergo procedures like skin tightening without even having to go under the knife.
This goes far beyond cosmetics, though. If your elder has been in the sun a lot, then there’s a good chance that they may have skin cancer, whether it’s a benign precancerous mole or melanoma. If left alone, it could be deadly despite it being relatively slow-growing compared to others (though some are very aggressive). Make sure they have regular appointments with a dermatologist.
Take Nice Photos to Keep for an Album
This one might seem like it’s on the morbid side, but you don’t want to have regrets. When you have someone who has become an elder, that means that they are on the back end of their lives. You want to have good memories of them while they are alive. While you can take a lot of photos using your smartphone, you can also have a professional take memorial photography. This way, you will have something to look at later that still shows them with the twinkle of life in their eyes.
Ultimately, when it comes to elder care and more, you want to treat them the way that you want to be treated when you get to be their age. If you set this kind of example for your children, then they will be more inclined to do the same sort of thing for you later on. It will also let you remember those final years of your elder’s life in a positive light and it will also likely reinforce any bond that you already have.
The main thing you want to remember is to treat them with dignity. Even though it may seem like the roles gradually reverse, with the parent becoming a child and the child a parent, have it be a fun journey, not a burden. That may be easier said than done, but if you do the above things, then you will feel like you are doing the right thing. Then it will all be worth it for both of you.