For baby boomers, the stress of caring for aging parents along with caring for your own family is one that leads to guilt, second guessing, and heartbreaking decisions. Even if you’ve planned for the day when your aging parents would need more care, it’s not easy to find the balance between caring for yourself, your family, and your parents.
Use these tips to help you through the tough but rewarding experience of caring for your elderly parents.
When you’re in the middle of a stressful situation, you don’t always realize the pressure you’re under until the situation is over. Take the time to evaluate your response to stress so that you know when enough is enough. Do you get irritable? Frustrated? Do you stop exercising or taking care of yourself? Do you start eating more junk food or zoning out in front of the television?
Ask a trusted family member or friend to let you know if they start to notice changes in your behavior that could signal a need for something to change in your life, whether that’s hiring a caregiver, asking for more help from friends or family, or taking a much-needed break from caregiving for a period of time.
The more your parents can do for themselves, the better they will feel. Helping your parents stay independent might mean making a few changes to their home, such as installing grab bars in the bathroom, placing a bath seat in the tub or shower, or helping them learn how to use a walking cane or rolling walker to keep their balance and get around the house without falling.
If needed, hire an independent contractor or find resources in your community to help you evaluate the safety of your parents’ home and make changes as needed. You should also be aware of basic fall prevention tips such as making sure there are no loose rugs your parent could trip over and making sure hallways and bathrooms are lit at night.
Lack of communication between family members is one of the greatest sources of stress for boomers caring for their parents. Although you’ll each have different opinions and ideas about what’s best for mom and dad, it’s important to hear each other out and be willing to compromise.
Make sure that individual responsibilities are clear, such as taking care of financial issues, home and lawn care, and taking a parent to the doctor or other outings.
Don’t wait until you’re exhausted before asking for help. You’ll be able to take better care of your parents if you build in enough rest time to avoid getting burned out. Along with practical caregiving help, you should also be able to rely on your support system for emotional resilience, a listening ear, and guidance for making decisions on how to care for your aging parents. Although it can be a stressful experience at times, it can also be a very rewarding one!
Falls in the bathroom are one of the greatest risks for aging parents living at home. Make sure your parents stay safe with a bath bench or shower stool, grab bars, and an elevated toilet seat. Free shipping on all orders to the lower 48 U.S.!
Most seniors prefer to age in place in the comfort of their own home. With a few modifications and safety updates, your loved one will be able to live independently for a longer period of time. The following bathroom safety tips will get you headed in the right direction to keep your loved one safe at home.
When you start to lose your balance, your first instinct is to grab whatever is nearest to you. If that happens to be a sliding shower door or a towel bar, however, the object that you grab onto may not be able to hold your weight.
Keep your loved one safe by installing grab bars in strategic places, such as on either side of the toilet and on the wall next to the bath tub or shower. When properly installed, a grab bar will support your full weight and stop you from falling.
Bath tubs and showers are often the cause of falls in the bathroom, since they are slippery when wet. Use a non-slip shower mat or apply non-skid tape or treads to the bottom of your bath tub or shower.
Sitting in the shower or bath tub is safer than standing. You can really take your time bathing and enjoy yourself with a bath or shower chair. Options range from a small bath stool (for tight shower spaces) to a bath transfer bench that make it easier to get in and out of the tub.
With a handheld shower head, you can easily rinse off without standing or moving around underneath the shower head. The long hose allows you to move the shower head where needed, and you can control the spray settings for your comfort.
A higher toilet seat makes it easier to sit down and stand up. A raised toilet seat platform can be installed over your existing toilet seat for an extra boost. You may also be able to install a portable commode (without the bucket) over the toilet seat for arm rest support.
If you haven’t done so already, get a medical alert system for your loved one. Make sure the alert button is waterproof so that they can wear it in the bathroom. Encourage your loved one to press the button if they fall or get hurt, even if the damage is minor. Better to be safe than sorry.
The water heater temperature should never exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water gets too hot, it can scald the skin. Elderly people have sensitive skin but are not always able to detect changes in temperature. Lowering the water heater temperature also prevents elderly people with arthritic hands or poor grip strength from accidentally turning the water on too hot.
Some bath and sink faucets are difficult for seniors with arthritic hands to use. Replace the faucet with handles that are easy to grip and use. Lever handle faucets are easier to use than handles that require pulling or twisting. Make sure the faucet also indicates directions for hot and cold water temperature.
Are you looking for a bath bench or a raised toilet seat? We have just what you need. Roll Mobility carries the best quality bathroom safety products from Drive Medical, Invacare, and Medline. Free shipping on all orders to the lower 48 U.S.
Maintaining a sense of independence and dignity is important for seniors, especially when it comes to using the bathroom. Certain bath and toilet safety products can reduce the risk of falls and help seniors keep their independence for longer.
If you’ve ever used the handicapped stall in a public restroom, you’ve probably noticed that the seat is higher. A raised toilet seat makes it easier to sit down and stand up. There’s less strain on your back, knees, and legs.
The good news is that you don’t have to buy a taller toilet to modify your bathroom at home. You can purchase a raised toilet seat and attach it securely to the toilet. Some elevated toilet seats come with side arms for extra support when sitting down or standing up.
The other thing you’ll notice in a handicapped are the grab bars—often on both sides of the toilet. You can install grab bars at home if there are places to install them on either side of the toilet.
If not—or if you want a more temporary modification—you can purchase a stand-alone toilet safety rail. The frame surrounds the toilet and gives you extra support for sitting down and leverage for standing up. Some commode chairs can be installed over the toilet for a safety frame as well.
Another option is a safety pole, an adjustable floor-to-ceiling pole that does not require mounting. You can use it next to the toilet. Safety poles can also be used next to your bed or living room easy chair.
For seniors who can’t make it to the bathroom on their own, a commode offers convenience and can be used in any room in the house. Heavy duty commodes are available for bariatric patients.
If you have a difficult time getting in and out of the bath tub, using a bath transfer bench can make your hygiene safer and easier. For independent users with slightly limited mobility, a bath transfer bench lets you keep your privacy and independence without fear of falling.
Poor balance, loss of vision, weakness, injury, and other factors common in aging seniors raise the risk of falls in the bathroom. With the right prevention methods, however, you can reduce the risk of falls and help your aging loved one maintain their independence.
Here are a few tips on bathroom safety, as suggested by Sunrise Senior Living.
A bath seat can make bathing safer and more pleasant for your loved one. If your bath seat comes unassembled, you will need to put it together before you can use it. The following instructions are for the Roll Mobility bath seat with backrest.
First, attach the backrest to the backrest tubes, using the bolts provided.
Then, lay the bath seat upside down on a flat surface.
Fit the tubes into the angled grooves on the bottom of the seat. The tubes should cross in the middle.
Attach the tubes to the seat with a washer and bolt. Tighten the bolt to secure the tubes to the seat.
To attach the backrest to the bath seat, lay the bath seat upside down on a solid bench or raised work surface.
Place the backrest upside down on top of the bath seat, with the backrest on the side of the bath seat marked “Rear.”
Line up the holes on the backrest tubes to the holes in the bath seat tubes.
Secure the backrest to the seat with the bolts and washers provided.
Adjust the height of the bath seat as needed by pushing in the snap button and sliding the leg tube up or down until the button protrudes through the correct adjustment hole. Repeat for the remaining three legs.
Make sure all four legs are adjusted to the same height by counting the number of holes between the bottom of each leg and the push button. Ensure that the legs are locked in place before use.
Bathing should be enjoyable for the elderly, but because of the fear of falling, they may avoid baths. Here are 7 things you can do to make bathing safer for your loved one.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults over the age of 65 will fall each year. And the consequences can be fatal: falls are the leading cause of injury death for the elderly. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of falls by improving the safety of their environment and making sure they have adequate mobility support.
What can you do to prevent a fall? Let’s look at 4 ways to stay on your feet:
If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! Maintaining physical strength, flexibility, and balance are important for preventing falls. If you don’t continue to exercise and use the muscles that you have, they will become weaker.
Poor vision (or not wearing glasses prescribed by a doctor) makes it difficult to see potential tripping hazards. Get your vision checked regularly, and wear glasses if needed.
Recovery from surgery, illness, and injury takes time. Don’t do more than your doctor or physical therapist recommends. Give your body time to heal, and use a mobility aid (such as a cane, walker, rollator, or wheelchair) to prevent re-injury. Bathroom safety products, such as a shower chair and grab bars, are also helpful.
Do you have loose rugs, poor lighting, or clutter on the floor? Taking simple steps to improve the safety of your home is key to preventing falls in the home.
The older you get, the more serious a fall can be. Broken bones are common in the elderly, and they take much longer to heal. The best way to prevent injuries from a fall is to prevent falls in the first place! Here are some tips to prevent falls at home.
When it comes to keeping your loved one safe, the bathroom is one of the first places to start. Bathroom safety products can make your loved one feel more secure and stay more independent by preventing falls.
Getting in and out of the bathtub is difficult for seniors who suffer from weakness or injury in the lower body and hips. Stepping over the tub wall can throw your body off balance, and your feet can easily slip on the tub floor or on the slippery tile outside the tub.
A bath transfer bench makes it easier and safer to get in and out of the tub. Instead of stepping over the side of the tub, you can sit down on the bench, lift one leg at a time into the tub, and then slide over to the center of the bench.
A transfer bench not only keeps you safe getting into the tub, but it also keeps you safe while taking a bath. Even though sitting on the tub floor might not be a possibility anymore (since getting up from the tub is difficult or impossible for seniors with weakness or injuries), you can still sit down while bathing or showering. Sitting on a bath transfer bench is safer and more comfortable than standing. With drainage holes, non-slip texturing, or a towel draped over the seat, the chances of slipping are greatly reduced. A hand held shower head makes it easy to rinse off and control the flow of water.
For safety, make sure the bath transfer bench is sitting solidly on all four legs. The bench should not rock or tilt to one side.