Here are 10 tips to keeping an elderly loved one safe at home. If you have questions or concerns about home care, elder law, or estate planning, consult with a qualified estate planning – elder law attorney.
- Make sure that your elderly loved one has a comprehensive estate plan in place so that if she needs assistance with finances or medical decisions, a trusted loved one is authorized to step in and help, without court interference.
- Guarantee the presence of critical medical directives and contact information in the event of a medical emergency. Consider the use of a virtual document storage company such as Docubank (www.docubank.com.)
- Make sure that your elderly loved one’s home is safe and secure. Put commonly used items within reach, have a phone readily available, and eliminate throw rugs and clutter. If steps become an issue, move the bedroom to the first floor and consider putting in a first floor bath if none is available presently.
- In the extreme heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter, make sure that the air conditioning and heat are working properly. Consider doing errands or hiring home help for your loved one if the weather is extreme.
- Ensure adequate family and friend social interaction by having scheduled visits and gatherings at the elderly loved one’s home, if the chaos isn’t overwhelming.
- Know that home health care options are available and may be paid by private funds, Medicare, or Medicaid. There are geriatric care managers who can manage all in home care, house and yard help, food preparation, and errand running. They are knowledgeable about payment options.
- Have emergency contact number on the fridge and in your loved one’s wallet.
- If your loved one is prone to falls, consider purchasing an emergency necklace so she can call for help from anywhere.
- Call or stop in once a day.
- Consider senior home sharing. Think “Golden Girls.” There are agencies that do background checks, take applications, and match roommates. Senior home sharing provides the sharing of household tasks, the splitting of household expenses, and much needed social interaction.
If you have questions or concerns about home care, elder law, or estate planning, consult with a qualified estate planning – elder law attorney.