Caregiver in Wake Forest NC
As a family caregiver, you want to encourage your aging loved ones to have as much independence as possible. Continuing to stay active, be involved in the community, and enjoy the activities that they have always participated in with friends and family is a fantastic way to support a greater level of physical activity as well as mental and emotional health. Part of independence, however, might mean heading out of the house without you, and that could put them at risk of locking themselves out of the house.
It happens to the best of us. You step outside to grab the mail and forget that you have the door set to automatically lock when you close it. You forget to snatch your keys from the front table when you head out to go the grocery store. You leave your keys wherever you went for the day. Whatever the reason, getting locked out of the house is a common issue, but it can be frightening and dangerous, especially with the cold winter weather coming in.
This can be a particular problem if you are on a care journey with aging parents who have cognitive limitations such as Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, and may have wandering tendencies. Even if you are not able to encourage your parents to go on outings on their own, if they do not have a care provider or caregiver in the home with them at all times, including being awake and alert at night, there is a possibility that they could walk out of the home and get locked out.
In either situation, having an emergency kit available outside your parents’ home to handle a lockout can help them to get through it calmly, safely, and with lower risk of injury or illness.
Some things to consider storing outside of your parents’ home in the event of a lockout include:
• Extra key. Many people have a spare key to their home but they keep it either inside in a drawer or give it to a friend or neighbor to hang onto. While having someone else hold onto a key is a good way to make sure that there is one that is safe, if that person is not readily available when you need the key, it is not going to be helpful. Wrap a spare key in several layers of aluminum foil and bury it somewhere that you and your parents will remember. This way if they get locked out, they can find the key, or you can tell them or an emergency response provider over the phone where to find it.
• Emergency contact information. Getting locked out can be a terrifying situation, and the faster that your parents get the help they need, the faster they can get the situation over with. Make a list of emergency contacts, including you, their care provider if they have one, and a trusted locksmith. Laminate this list and put it somewhere inconspicuous, such as on the inside of a cellar door or under a lawn decoration so that it stays secure and your parents can find it if they need it.
• Flashlight or glow sticks. If your parents happen to get locked out at night, having a source of light will be extremely comforting and help take much of the fear away from the incident. Put a flashlight or glow sticks in a freezer zipper bag and store it somewhere easily accessible so that they can use them to light their way to help or to draw attention to themselves.
• Emergency kit. If your parents have a tendency to get locked out or you are concerned about their safety should this happen, consider heading to a home and garden store and looking for a weather resistant outdoor storage bench. This type of bench opens up to reveal a large storage container that is protected from rain and other elements. Fill this up with helpful items such as blankets, extra clothing, water, their flashlight, and even an SOS button. These useful devices are inexpensive but can provide your parents with a direct connection with you even if they do not have a phone available. All they need to do is press the button and it will call you, then give you their exact location.
Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out more about how to keep your parents safe and what you can do to give them as much independence as possible while also ensuring their security and health throughout their aging years.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Wake Forest, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622