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How to Keep Your Parent Safe While Maintaining Independence

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Although your aging parent may have health or vision issues, he or she may still value independence. Limited mobility and degenerative diseases of the spine can heighten the risk for accidents or injuries in the home, but there are several things you can do to keep your parent safe while maintaining independence. 

Monitor Medication Side Effects

Certain medications can lead to dangerous side effects such as dizziness, impaired vision, weakness, blood pressure abnormalities, and cardiac arrhythmia. Severe side effects can limit your parent’s independence, as the fear of an accident may frequently creep into his or her thoughts. At the first sign of an adverse reaction, see if your loved one’s physician can lower the dosage or prescribe a different medication that is less likely to cause side effects. Once your loved one is no longer afraid of medication side effects, confidence and independence will be restored. 

If your loved one needs help remembering to take medications, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Milwaukee, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Evaluate Floor Surfaces

When floors are uneven or go from flat to raised, accidents can happen. If your loved one’s living room has hardwood floors but the dining room is carpeted, he or she may inadvertently trip. Installing transition strips in between uneven surfaces can prevent accidents by evening out differences in surface height.

Ensure Adequate Nutrition

Your parent may feel unsteady or sick if adequate nutrition and hydration is lacking. Poor nutrition can severely compromise independence due to feelings of weakness and unwellness. When people feel sick, they are more likely to depend on others for help. If your parent is losing weight or has a dry mouth, itchy skin, or sunken eyes, make an appointment with his or her doctor, as these may be signs of dehydration or nutritional deficiencies. Once these issues are corrected, your loved one may feel better and more likely to embrace his or her independence. 

Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Milwaukee, Wisconsin, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.

Encourage Exercise

Exercise is important for seniors because it helps them maintain strength, mobility, and balance. The stronger and steadier your parent becomes, the more likely he or she will be to do housekeeping tasks, drive, and socialize. Always check with your loved one’s physician before recommending a new exercise program. If your parent is not used to exercise, it may do more harm than good. Exercise can help seniors manage blood pressure, cardiovascular health, blood sugar levels, and chronic pain, and it can also alleviate depression and anxiety by lifting the mood. Exercise promotes the release of chemicals known as endorphins, also known as feel-good chemicals. An overabundance of endorphins in the bloodstream can provide pain relief while enhancing restful sleep.

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your senior loved one, call us at (414) 964-8000 today.