How can we make Grandma more comfortable as she remains in her own home?
During our family reunion trip to see Grandma- My grandma said numerous times every day, "I don't ever want to go to a nursing home". Home is where most folks feel comfortable, their lives are filled with daily routines. When the routine is broken, there is a breakdown of spirit and happiness for many. Hearing and seeing my Grandma go through her daily routines and being a member of the National Aging In Place Council organization, I wanted to focus our weekly "Stay at Home" blog on how to keep Grandma (or anyone for that matter) comfortable in their own homes as they age.
Below are some things to pay attention to when helping a loved one or neighbor "Stay at Home" comfortably and safely:
1) Medication management: this is teh number #1 reason that people can not stay in their own home and need to move to assisted living. One solution is to purchase an automatic pill dispenser that is locked until meds are dispensed at set times. A loud alarm and blinking light let's people know it's time for their meds. This item can be purchased for only $69.95 at www.rmmedicalsales.com/pill-reminder.html
2) Food: Upon inspection of Grandma's fridge, there was nothing fresh-in fact many expired items and half eaten food filled her fridge. A daily or bi-wekly care giver visit would go a long way to keeping up healthy eating habits.
3) Care Giver: There are many avenues to find a local care giver. Check with the national Aging in Place for quality organizations at www.naipc.org
4) Laundry: Unclutter all the items that go unused for a year or more! Education or "re education" on how to properly use the washer and dryer may be needed. Services can take out and launder or care givers can assist with laundy in the home.
5) Wandering Wristbands: these items are a must if there are any signs of dementia. They are worn like a regular wrist watch, are surprisingly affordable and can be found at: www.mediband.com/.../2008/01/17/wristbands-for-dementia-patients
6) Communication devices: Cell phones and I Pads etc... are a great way to keep in touch with Grandma or your loved one. Technology is changing rapidly and it's easy to have a face to face chat from long distance.
7) Construction Services: Light remodeling, small ramps, neutral thresholds, non slip flooring, improved plumbing fixtures, door and cabinet hardware, new appliances and much more can be a blessing in keeping Grandma navigating around her home. In Minnesota or Wisconsin, contact Lake Country Builders at www.lakecountrybuilders.com for these and more construction services.
8) Estate planners, lawyers and mortgage specialists: Sooner rather than later is the time to think about these services!
Conclusion: It's been said that most people take more time to plan a vacation than the aging of loved ones or themselves. Take action now to help Grandma stay in her own home safe and comfortably. The average cost of assisted living facilities can be $10,000 per month or more.