Life is all about changes. Some are abrupt and some are very gradual. No one likes to change. Change is hard. The older you get, the harder it is to make those changes. But changes are often good. Changing ourselves is hard, but changing an aging loved one can seem impossible!
Some changes that need to take place as we grow older is in the home. We can no longer afford to have throw rugs in our homes. They are a big cause of accidental falls. Getting an elder to give them up can be very hard, but this is an issue you must win on.
Keeping a towel near the stove is another thing to watch for. It’s just too easy for them to catch fire. If your elder is still cooking and likes to use a dish towel for an oven mitt, please go out and get them some mitts. This is a situation that can be life threatening.
Many elders like to sleep in complete darkness, but nightlights and motion sensitive lights can keep them from falling when they get up during the night. Stair rails and steps need to be in good shape and well lit. And all elders need a sturdy handrail in the shower or tub.
For many elders, they’ve just recently had to begin to take prescription medicines. It can be a hard habit to get into. Filling those little weekly pill containers is something you can help them with. It can make life a lot easier, especially if your loved one is beginning to have trouble remembering.
Post It notes and large calendars can help you help your elder. Putting notes on the fridge that a certain medication needs to be taken with food, can remind them to take those meds after they’ve eaten. I love the large desk calendars. I can write big enough for anyone to read. It may be just the ticket for you to help your loved one remember what day it is, and when they have appointments.
Getting a hard-working elder to slow down and get help is another hard change to make. Your dad may have always been the one to clean the gutters, but it may be time to retire his ladder and find someone to help him with that chore. The same goes for washing windows and anything else that requires a climb. Breaking a hip can change their lives forever and possible cause their deaths.
What changes have you struggled to help your elder with? How did you get through to them? We’d love to hear your stories!
If you or a family member is going through a crisis, I want you to know that you are not alone. The support and education you need is available at your fingertips from expert care professionals at Lutheran Homes of Michigan. You may talk to a real person who does have the answers, without any obligation by calling 989.652.3470 or by emailing
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