The bathroom can be a dangerous place for any elderly adult. For those who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease, however, it can pose additional challenges and obstacles that can make fulfilling personal care tasks even more daunting. As a family caregiver it is important that you understand these risks so that you can take steps to address and manage them, enabling your parent to maintain more independence in the bathroom while also staying safe and healthy.
Use these tips to help your parent maintain more independence and stay safer while managing their personal tasks in the bathroom:
- Reduce the temperature of the water. Tremors and other symptoms can cause your parent to inadvertently increase the hot water or not be able to turn it off. If the water temperature within the hot water heater is too high, this can lead to severe burns and even life-threatening injuries for your aging parent. Reduce the temperature of the water in the water heater to less than 120 degrees. Talk to a plumber or other professional to ensure that you do not lower it too far, which can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.
- Add shelves in the shower. Bending over to pick up soap, shampoo, and other items can increase the risk of falls for your aging parent. Adding shelves allows them to store these items within easy reach so that they are at less risk.
- Use handrails. Installing handrails throughout the bathroom promotes safer mobility and can help with a variety of tasks, from showering to toileting. Be sure that these handrails are rated to handle your parent’s weight and that they are installed properly to prevent them from collapsing and putting your aging parent at even greater risk. Install these handrails along the wall to help your parent move across the bathroom, as well as in the shower and on either side of the toilet.
- Use modified tools. Symptoms of PD such as rigidity and tremors can make it difficult for your parent to handle grooming tasks such as brushing their teeth or styling their hair. Make these tasks easier and more accessible for your loved one by integrating modified tools into their care routine. Add a bench or chair to the bathroom if possible so that they are able to sit during these tasks, conserving energy and lowering the risk of falls. Use an electric toothbrush and razor that handle most of the work in order to shorten the task and make it less strenuous. Look for hairdryers that mount to the wall or counter so that your parent does not have to hold them up throughout their styling.
If your aging parent has recently received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or is suffering increased symptoms that might make it challenging for them to handle specific tasks during their day, now is the time for you to start elderly care for them. This highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider are designed to specifically address your loved one’s individual symptoms, challenges, and limitations in a way that takes into account their personality, thoughts, beliefs, lifestyle, and goals so that they can maintain their quality of life in a way that is right for them. This care provider’s schedule is also customized to your parent based on the care efforts that you are able to give them, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of their care journey and are able to give them as much of the care, love, and support that you can. When it comes to handling potentially sensitive care tasks, this care provider can fulfill these care tasks with respect and dignity, helping to diffuse much of the emotional stress that can come along with them, and allowing you to step back from tasks that might be too challenging for you or that your parent is not comfortable with you managing. This way you can focus your energy and effort on other elements of their care while still feeling confident that they are getting what they need to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Garner, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622