4 Ways to Keep Your Aging Parents Healthy

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(Newswire.net — July 23, 2018) — We all want to provide the best retirement for our senior parents, but that isn’t always easy to do. With the number of seniors over the age of 65 rapidly increasing, we’re faced with the decision to begin planning for our loved ones’ care.

The cost of assisted living isn’t an option for all families. Aging in place – letting your loved one be independent in their own home – is more cost-effective, but can come with some care challenges. Research shows that nearly 90 percent of individuals aged 65 and over want to live in their homes as long as possible.

Fortunately, there are several ways to help parents stay in the comfort of their homes, be independent, and ensure their safety.

1) Manage their medications

It’s common for seniors to take multiple medications and managing these can be challenging. To make this easier for your parent, start by reading their prescriptions to look for any drug interactions. Many seniors are not even aware of drug interactions or side effects and may forget key information from their doctor.

Help your parent organize their pills into daily doses with a pill organizer. You can create a paper chart for your parent to check off when they’ve taken a dose, or you can teach them to use a smartphone app that will provide reminders. Taking these steps can help prevent missing doses or taking too many doses, both of which can cause illness.

2) Arrange transportation to reduce driving risks

Age-related conditions can make your parent more susceptible to injury in vehicle accidents. The traffic accident fatality rate for senior drivers aged over 65 is 17 times higher than that of 25-64-year-olds. Arthritis and inflammation can also affect your parent’s ability to grip and turn a steering wheel, or twist to get in and out of a car. Even medications can alter driving performance.

Coming up with a plan of transportation for your parent can reduce the risk of accidents. Transportation can be coordinated among family members or scheduled with a transportation service. These options can remove the worry of your parent driving alone to appointment and errands. Some transportation services are even covered by insurance, providing a cost-effective option for your parent’s safe transportation.

3) Use at-home food delivery

One way to help ensure your parent’s safe independence is by having their essential needs delivered to their home. This method reduces their need to take risky drives to the store, but also provides them with necessities to maintain their health.

Several grocery delivery services allow a grocery order to be placed and delivered all through a smartphone app. Another option is meal delivery services, where prepared meals are dropped off daily to your parent’s home. Other options provide a weekly delivery of prepared, microwavable meals. These delivery services help reduce the risk of nutrition deficiencies, which is common in seniors.

4) Get a medical alert system

Another means of ensuring your parent’s safety in their home is using a medical alert system. Medical alert devices can be wearable or placed around the home to provide emergency assistance to a senior in need. Falls are common among seniors. A medical alert device can help your parent get the urgent help they need before developing life-threatening injuries. These systems have many different options and pricing plans, so consider using an independent review site to help you choose the best medical alert system your parent.

Some devices include GPS systems to locate your parent, fall detection features, and even two-way communication. These devices can provide help in the crucial seconds after a heart attack, stroke, or other medical emergencies. It also provides peace of mind to know your parent has access to help when they need it, even when you can’t be there.

Being involved and helping manage your parents’ needs goes a long way in keeping them healthy. Meeting their needs reduces their stress, keeps them safe, and reduces medical complications. With some time and planning, you can make these changes to improve your parents’ health and quality of life.