For many of us, it’s distressing to observe how aging affects our parents. The worst part is the feeling of powerlessness that we feel when we realize we cannot help them as much as we’d wish. If you live far away from your elderly parents, you’re probably consumed with worry as you know that even basic activities can pose problems to them.
Here are three ways to help your elderly parents feel safe and comfortable in their home even when they’re alone.
Teach Your Parents to Make the Most of Technology
Your elderly parents spend most of their time at home with few opportunities for social engagement, so they may feel lonely and isolated. Compounded by physical decline, loneliness can be a serious issue, threatening their health and wellbeing. To help your parents feel connected with family members and friends, teach them to use technology as a bridge to the world.
Help your parents set up a computer with a camera or buy them a tablet specially designed for seniors. If they don’t know already, teach them how to make video calls. Introduce them to social media networks so they can see updates from family members and chat with their friends.
Fall-Proof Your Parents’ Home
As difficult as it may be to accept this, your elderly parents are at risk of injury even when doing basic activities. Physical weakness can make them more prone to falling, and fall injuries can have dramatic consequences for seniors, leading to head injury, broken bones, or hip fracture. Although this sounds scary, there are many ways to fall-proof your parents’ home to make sure a fall does not happen.
Since the bathroom is the place where accidents are most likely to occur due to slippery surfaces, it’s crucial to improve bath safety. For an elderly person, standing up in the shower or lifting themselves from the bathtub can be a huge effort, so bathroom safety products can also help them relax. You can install grab bars beside the bed and add handrails on stairs as additional safety measures.
Teach Your Parents How to Avoid Scams
Financial scams are widely prevalent, and elderly people are the most common target. At a first look, it may seem infantilizing to say to your parents not to trust strangers, but the reality is that scammers are very adept at preying on senior people’s vulnerabilities. So, research the most common scams and teach your parents how to protect their personal and financial information.
Scams that target elderly people may be related to medical or health insurance, funeral services, false health claims, telemarketing and Internet fraud, lottery tickets, or investment opportunities. Considering how widespread these scams are, your parents must be cautious of any person that asks for their address or banking information. You should also learn what to do in the eventuality that they get scammed.
These strategies are the best start if you want to help your elderly parents maintain their independence and live safely. By taking active steps to ensure their safety, you’ll feel less anxious knowing that they alone.