Your mom wants to age in place, but her health is changing. It’s getting harder. She doesn’t want to move, but she finds it hard to keep up with her daily to-do list. After forgetting to take her medications again, she tells you she feels unsafe being alone all day. How can you help her? Is elder care services an option?
Check the Home for Safety Issues
Go through the home and make sure it’s as safe as possible. Look for common issues like throw rugs that slip around, carpeting that’s ripped or curled up, and uneven wood floors.
Falls in the bathroom can be prevented with the addition of grab bars and non-slip shower mats. Add motion-activated floor-level lights in the bedroom, hallways, and stairs to help her get to a bathroom safely in the middle of the night.
Invest in Technology That Makes Her Feel Safe
Does your mom have a medic alert system? Systems can detect falls and alert someone if she doesn’t respond to initial calls. Instead of falling and being unable to get to a phone, she pushes a button and gets help. If she falls and doesn’t move, the system alerts the technicians who call her. If she doesn’t answer, emergency services are dispatched.
Some of today’s smartwatches also have fall detection. If your mom doesn’t want a medic alert system, she may be happier wearing a smartwatch that monitors her sleeping patterns, pulse, stress levels, etc.
Does she worry about being alone? A video camera doorbell can help her feel safer. If someone is at the door, she doesn’t have to unlock it. She can find out why someone is at her door from a phone or computer.
Consider adding home technology like a smart display that makes it easy for her to talk to you without remembering your number. She can tell her smart display to call you, and it does the rest.
Talk to Her About Elder Care
How do you get started? First, sit down with your mom and other family members and draw up a list of questions. Go over daily chores like housekeeping, medications, meal preparation, personal care, grooming, and other tasks your mom needs to do each day. What can’t she do on her own?
Don’t overlook companion care. Instead of having your mom alone all day and night, she could have a caregiver spending time with her each day. Companion care is ideal if you live too far away to visit more than once or twice a year. It helps if you work full-time and still have children at home, making it difficult to regularly stop by your mom’s house.
Second, call an elder care agency. Ask to talk to a specialist in-home care and get answers to your questions. Once you better understand the services and prices, book the elder care services that your mom needs.