Whether you are caring for a parent, spouse, or other adult loved one, there are a multitude of responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. And while a home health care service can alleviate many of these, it is important to help your loved one remain independent in as many ways as possible—for both of your general well-being. Not only does this take away some of the stress from your day-to-day activities, but perhaps more importantly, it also offers your loved one some semblance of normalcy and autonomy. By taking the right precautions and having honest conversations, both you and your loved one can rest assured that they are able to maintain their independence while also staying safe.
Keep an Open Dialogue and Stay Engaged
Being aware of your loved one’s emotional and medical needs is essential. The importance of companionship should not be underestimated, so make an effort to spend time with your loved one in ways that are unrelated to their health or treatment. Additionally, encourage them to get together with friends and family members and stay engaged with their favorite activities and hobbies. If your loved one is unable to leave the house, mobile video chat is a terrific option for them to stay connected, especially with those who live far away.
Make Home a Safe Zone
One of the main benefits of receiving home health care and nursing services is your loved one’s ability to continue to enjoy the comforts of home. However, it is critical that the space is free of potential hazards. Specifically, these basic modifications should be made to ensure your loved one stays safe in their home:
- Improve lighting in potentially dangerous or poorly lit areas.
- Install automatic outdoor lights.
- Install rails in the bathroom(s).
- Install a security system, which can be used during emergency situations in addition to break-ins.
- Lower pantry shelves and move any frequently used items or necessities to more accessible locations.
- Secure rugs to prevent slipping.
- Depending on your loved one’s condition, it may also be useful to install a wheelchair ramp to provide easier access into the home, and if their bedroom is currently on an upper level of the house, consider moving it to the first floor.
Learn more about the available resources and programs that might help to cover some of the costs of making home modifications.
Establish an Emergency Plan
If your loved one is going to be left alone at any point, it is critical that together, you establish a plan in case of an emergency. Should your loved one fall or experience a medical event, a personal emergency response system (PERS) allows users to quickly call for help by pushing a button. And with certain models now offering GPS capability, mobile PERS solutions provide caregivers with an extra sense of security while still striking an ideal balance between care and freedom.
Partnering with a home health care and nursing service is the first and perhaps most important step towards supporting your loved one’s independence. By following these tips and taking the right precautions, you both will benefit from additional security and comfort.