Five thoughtful things you can do to help your elderly parents

Watching elderly parents, grandparents or loved ones deteriorate can be extremely difficult. It is hard to watch those that once cared for you become in need of care themselves.

While more than 75 per cent of Australians over the age of 80 would prefer to stay living at home, it can put an enormous amount of pressure and stress on their caregivers, who are likely to be in the Baby Boomer generation.

There are some thoughtful things which can be done to help, including:

1. Ensuring the home is safe

There are some easy and basic changes which can be made in the home in areas such as the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

  • Installing bathroom rails to help support them when they walk through the house and avoid unexpected slips and falls.
    (Click here for an informative blog on preventing falls in the home.)
  • Lowering shelves in the pantry so they can easily access items.
  • Clearing any clutter in hallways and on the floor.
  • Adding more lighting in bedrooms and hallways, especially for night-time bathroom visits.

Technology can also play a role in ensuring the home is safe. The latest home security systems can provide caregivers with a real-time overview of the parent’s home (of course, with their permission). By simply using a tablet or smartphone, you can instantly review video footage of key areas in near real-time, and remotely control lights and locks.

2. Ensure the home is adequately cooled/heated

Extremes in temperature can be detrimental to an elderly person’s health, especially in Sydney where we experience hot summers and cold winters. Whether it’s a fan, central heating and cooling, or a gas-powered heater (no naked flames), it’s important to install adequate heating and cooling to keep loved ones comfortable in summer and winter.

For more information on seniors staying safe in the summer months at home, click here.

3. Having essential needs delivered

While you may need to take your parents or loved one shopping for clothes or larger grocery purchases, technology has made it easy to have essential items delivered to their doorstep.

Having a regular online grocery order with staples such as milk, bread, tea, coffee, fruit and vegetables and other essentials can help to ensure there is always something in the house to eat.

Alternatively, Oxley Home Care provides grocery shopping and transport services as part of our private care services.

4. Addressing and recognising loneliness

Loneliness is a huge factor in the lives of people as they age. Losing partners, friends and siblings changes the fabric of life and can cause sadness and depression.

With technology keeping the world connected, buying a smartphone (and teaching them how to use it) for a loved one might be a way to keep in touch, especially if they have family members who live faraway.

Being able to make video calls and see them (and them see you) is so much more rewarding than just a phone call.

Also, check out what the local community centre has to offer – hobbies, activities or fitness and exercise classes for seniors can help keep them engaged with others.

5. Using the services of an Aged Care Provider

Staying in the home is the preferred choice for many elderly Australians and this can preserve their independence and strong ties to their local community.

There are many benefits to staying at home, provided the right level of support and care can be given. Of course, it can be difficult for family members to be able to devote the time and expertise needed to care for an ageing relative.

Which is where Oxley Home Care can be of huge assistance, providing services via Private Care or a Home Care Package (eligibility criteria applies). A Home Care Package provides a subsidy towards a package of care, services and case management to meet your elderly parents’ personal needs.

About Oxley Home Care

Oxley Home Care is an Approved Aged Care Provider and has been helping Australians live independently at home for over 10 years in Sydney.

We ensure your Home Care Package is exactly how they want it – you determine your type of care, how it’s delivered and who delivers it.

To gain access to a Home Care Package, the Government requires that you undergo a comprehensive assessment by your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). To arrange the assessment contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care website.

Don’t worry. We can take care of the paperwork. Please feel free to call Oxley Home Care for further information on 1300 993 591.

Gilian Douglass

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