In your role as a family caregiver, it is extremely important that you focus not just on the assistance and care that you need to give your parent, but also the ways in which you can help your parent to handle more of their own tasks and stay more independent throughout their later years. This not only eases the efforts that you need to make for them, but also supports their mental and emotional health by helping them to feel more autonomous and capable of living the lifestyle that they desire.
One of the most important elements of this is identifying the particular challenges that they face so that you can make meaningful adjustments to their home and their daily routine to address them effectively and efficiently. One issue that is particularly common along elderly adults is weakness and lack of mobility in their hands. This can be caused by arthritis or just aging, but it can lead to loss of functioning and diminished safety and accessibility in the home.
Use these tips to improve home safety and accessibility for seniors with weakness and loss of mobility in their hands:
- Get rid of the knobs. Doorknobs are traditional, but they can be extremely difficult to grasp and utilize for those who have weakness or pain in their hands. Replace these with levers that are easier to manipulate.
- Get some extra “hands”. Holding several things at once can be very difficult for your parent. Place sturdy small tables around the house to provide a place where your parent can place things that they are holding so that they can do other things rather than trying to “juggle” multiple items.
- Rock the lights. A traditional light switch might not seem like much of a challenge, but they can be hard to use for a senior who has trouble with strength and mobility in their hands. Replace such switches with rocking switches that allow your parent to press on them to turn lights on and off.
- Upgrade windows. Go through your parent’s home and make sure that they can open all of the windows. This is both for comfort and for safety. If your parent cannot open these windows safely and easily, consider upgrading them for models that allow your parent to release a latch and fold the window in rather than lifting it up.
If your aging parent’s needs and challenges have increased to the point that you are no longer able to handle them effectively, or your own schedule or limitations have changed and reduced your ability to give your senior the care that they need, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home care services provider can be an exceptional benefit both to your senior and to you. By filling care gaps that might exist in the efforts that you offer them and creating a set of highly personalized services, this care provider can ensure that your senior gets everything that they need to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable both when you are able to be with them and when you are not. This allows your parent to pursue a lifestyle that is active, independent, and fulfilling, and eases your stress, supporting a better quality of life for both of you.