Are Your Parents Safe in Their Home?

Are you worried about your elderly parents still living in their home?  The following is an excerpt from Senior's List, an online newsletter dedicated to senior citizens.

By Frank Samson

Most people want to live independently as long as possible, but many of the baby boomers today are dealing with a parent or loved one who needs care at some level. This can range from everyday tasks such as meal preparation, assistance with errands, driving to doctors or to activities.

Of course, most seniors want to stay in their own home, but the family must consider safety as the number one priority. If the answer to one or more of the following questions is "yes," it may likely indicate that your loved one may need more assistance:

*Have there been medication mistakes?
*Has wandering away from home occurred?
*Is there weight loss due to lack of food and/or fluid?
*Have there been falls?
*Has the stove or toaster oven been left on?
*Is there a need for nighttime supervision?
*Is there a need for daytime supervision if alone for an extended period of time?

Care options include:

Home with Family

Caring for a senior in your home is a difficult job. You must have tremendous inner-strength, and also admit you cannot do it alone. Failing to do so will exacerbate an already difficult situation, but with the help of others, care-giving can become a much smoother process.

In-Home Care

Examples of in-home non-medical area of health include assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, driving to appointments, light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, preparing meals, companionship and more daily tasks. It is imperative a thorough analysis takes place to make sure you are dealing with a reputable organization or person.

Independent Living Communities

These are senior housing or senior communities whose residents are at least 55-60 years of age and are in good overall health. For a loved one who is able to live by himself or herself this can be a great alternative choice. These communities are set up to keep residents active and safe. Residents will not have the usual worries which come with the burden of owning a home.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes

Assisted living is probably the most misunderstood of the various senior care options. Many associate assisted living with nursing homes, but there are distinguishable differences. Nursing homes are skilled nursing facilities for those who need 24-hour medical attention. This is for those with chronic medical conditions who need skilled, long-term care, and also for short-term recovering patients after a hospital discharge.

Assisted living, on the other hand, is for those who cannot live at home anymore and need help with basic activities of daily living to more specialized areas including dementia care. There are many options available in assisted living including a range from small, family residential homes to facilities with multiple levels of care.

The Residence at Tall Pines is an independently owned retirement community offering both independent and assisted living, an adult day program and outpatient physical therapy. It is proud to be part of the Tall Pines Health Care Community, located on Martin Lane in Belfast. For more information on The Residence or its services, call 207-930-7031.


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