Helping Your Elderly Parent Through a Health Crisis
Is your loved one facing a health crisis or has an illness started to take control of their life? If it affects them, it likely affects you too. That’s why it’s important to make sure that their needs are met both mentally and physically. If your loved one still lives at home and wishes to maintain as much independence as possible, finding ways to meet their needs so they don’t have to go to a nursing home is important. Here are a few ways that you may be able to help your parent through their health crisis and allow them to remain as self-sufficient as possible.
Help with Mobility
A major issue with many seniors is that their mobility is affected in one way or another. If they are currently facing a health crisis such as cancer, it can take a major toll on their balance and strength. This can make walking or just getting from the chair to the bathroom a true struggle. Finding aids to assist with mobility can make things flow smoothly. Some examples include a:
- Lift chair
- Wheelchair ramp for simple entry into the home
- Raised toilet seat for ease of toilet use
- Grip bar and railings for guided support
- Walker for added stability while walking
- Stairlift chair for easier access to the second story in the home
There are various things that can help your loved one and make their lives easier without having to worry about falling or accessing their personal space. Start by consulting with your parent’s family doctor. From there he can do a referral out to a DME, or durable medical equipment company, who can help coordinate the right equipment, such as the best lift chair models and supplies that fit the needs of your loved one.
Gaining Mobility Outside of the Home
You can make your home handicap accessible and easier to move around in by installing railings and widening doorways. But what about when your loved one has to leave the home? Maybe you are unable to be there every day to help your loved one to the car or bus if so, consider a motorized scooter to assist with gaining more independence. There are a lot of scooter and chair accessories that can be installed in vans and larger vehicles that allow the scooter to go directly inside so they can go where you go. Motorized lift risers make scooters and chairs easier to use.
Getting Help Through a Home Health Care Agency
Staying as mobile as possible when going through a difficult health issue can be a challenge, especially if you feel you need to step out to see the doctor several times a week. If your doctor approves home health services for your loved one and it’s covered under his health insurance, he can get a lot of services at home without having to leave the house. A home health care agency is made up of a team of home health aides, nurses, social workers, wound care specialists, physical therapists, spiritual care directors all working under a doctor’s supervision. These individuals will visit the home and assess and assist the needs of your loved one. If your loved one can’t get out of the home due to illness or mobility limitations, they can get personal care as well as services such as physical therapy to help work on areas that need strength and improvement. These services can be once a week or several times a week depending on the criteria that is met and how much of a need there is in the home.
Mobile assistive devices such as canes, walkers, scooters and other implements installed in the home can help your loved one with their ADLs or Activities of daily living. But, what about the toll it takes on both the patient and you as the caregiver or child? Learning ways to cope with a new disability or illness can be overwhelming and leave you both with questions you don’t have the answers for. Seeking qualified counseling from a source that specializes in elder care and those suffering from significant, life-altering illness is important. They can give you the proper tools to cope with your problems and help with the healing process.
Struggling with illness and debilitating health issues can take a serious toll on you and your loved ones mental and physical health. Reaching out and asking for help is the first step in gaining the independence that the entire family needs to get through.