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Looking After Elderly Parents

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 28 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Looking After Elderly Parents

With many people living longer these days it is not unusual for our parents to still be living long after we retire. A decision to downsize your life and live either more simply or even take early retirement could affect the care you can offer for your elderly parents.

Accommodation

Where do you parents live at present? Will they be able to remain there should they become frail or infirm? Do your parents have the resources to pay for nursing homes or to move into sheltered accommodation if the necessity arises? All these things should be considered when you are planning to downsize your life.

It may be that you will be relied upon to take care of them in your later years and if you do not budget for this in your downsizing plans there could be a problem to come in the years ahead. When your parents are elderly they may not have made their wishes known to you that clearly so it is better that you sit down with them and plan ahead for the future.

Care For The Elderly in The Home

Whether your parents move into your home or decide to remain independent you need to ensure that their safety in paramount. A survey of the house will be needed to check that there is no likelihood they could trip or fall. Electrical appliances should be checked, cables and plugs secured. If there are stairs in the house extra handrails should be fitted. A stair lift may be another item fitted to aid their safety.

Bathrooms could be fitted with lifts and handrails, non-slip matting laid and alarms installed in case of emergencies. You may be able to build an annex to your home so that your elderly parents can live in safety and comfort and you will be assured that they are getting the best possible attention in their later years.

Moving Away

Your downsizing plans may mean that you will be living many miles away from your elderly parents. Do not rely on them to tell you how they are, they will not want to burden you with their problems and the first you know that all is not well is when you receive a telephone call from the hospital or a policeman knocks on your doors.

Is there a friendly neighbour who will keep a key to your parents’ house and let you know how they are? Perhaps you could pay for a home help or cleaner to do some of the housework for them and keep you posted as to how they are coping.

If your children live near to their grandparents arrange for the children to visit regularly and check on their grandparents. Either way you will be assured that someone is keeping a close eye on them and if they were to become ill or have a problem you could travel to be by their side within a few hours.

Planning

With a little careful thought while you are planning to downsize your life the care of your elderly parents and their safety will not become a problem in later years.

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