When you notice that your parent is beginning to decline, it can be time to start making decisions for their future. If they are living alone and want to remain independent, you can take some precautions that will enable them to live at home alone longer. As long as your parent is safe within the home, you can set up the help they need in order to remain home. When your parent wants to live independently but can no longer take care of some of their own needs, it's time to get services in the home to support their independence.
Precautions to Ensure Safety When Your Parent is Forgetful
If your parent is having difficulty remembering things, burning meals, and forgetting appointments, it is time to take some precautions to keep them safe in the home. This can be as simple as filling up medication containers for them on a weekly basis, or you can go further and prepare their meals ahead of time for the week. If your parent isn't safe cooking in the home, you can try unplugging any appliances they would turn on to cook. This will decrease the chances of a fire because of forgotten food on the stove.
Take Away the Car Keys
When you notice your parent declining, it's hard to determine if they are still safe to drive a car. If they get lost on their way home in familiar territory, it's time to talk to your parent about no longer driving. This is likely to be a difficult conversation and one in which your parent will try to convince you that they are safe to drive. Their freedom will suffer if they are no longer able to drive, but you have to remember that their safety is more important. If you aren't sure if it's time to take away their car keys, at least start a conversation to see how safe your parent feels on the road.
Keeping your parent living at home longer requires an ongoing conversation between you and your parent. It's helpful to talk ahead of time before these concerns come up. When you talk to your parents about their wishes for the future, it may be easier for them to trust you when the time comes to make decisions regarding safety, cooking and driving. While it isn't easy to watch a parent decline, it is important that you keep them safe when they are trying to live independently.
Contact local services, such as Kendal At Lexington, for further assistance.