For many seniors, the goal is to live at home for as long as possible, but depending on one’s mobility, mental status, and other issues such as eyesight and balance, your loved one may need a little help to do so safely.
MOW-WNY volunteers keep an eye out for red flags – such as meals stacking up in the fridge, a change in grooming habits, or a change in demeanor. But, there are many things you also can do when you visit your loved one to help ensure safety.
• Periodically, clean out the fridge. Dispose of any old or expired items.
• Check medication. Make sure it is not expired and that there is enough of a supply. Offer to help with refills.
• Check the tub. Is there a bathmat or tread to help prevent slips?
• Replace light bulbs as needed – especially those that are up high or hard to reach.
• Offer to do tasks that may take more balance or strength than your loved one has – such as putting up and removing winter clings from the windows, flipping the mattress or even changing the sheets.
If you help with one small task every time you visit, you can make life much easier for your loved one. And, if you offer to help and are told no, don’t be discouraged. Many people don’t want to admit that assistance would be helpful. Keep offering and suggest specific things you can do to help (such as replacing light bulbs that may be hard to reach).