Getting older is tough for everyone in some way. It can be isolating as your work friends retire and move to new areas or your children grow up and start families of their own. Muscle strength may diminish some, making it hard to complete everything you used to do on your own.
Another aspect of aging is extremely common. Osteoarthritis occurs when the padding and fluid in the joints wear away due to use over the span of your life. When that happens, joints become sore, and that joint pain can be limiting. Arthritis pain can make it hard to complete household chores on your own.
You and your home care provider can help your mom adapt to these common issues. These are the steps to take to ensure she’s able to age at home without difficulty or fear.
Rearrange Her Home’s Layout
Some of the rooms in her home can be rearranged to make it easier for her to complete her daily routines. One room where this is very true is the kitchen. Lifting a heavier appliance, such as a stand mixer, from the cupboard over her refrigerator may be too much for your mom.
Move the appliances she uses the most to lower cupboards or make room for them on the counter. Instead of high cabinets, consider adding a stainless steel kitchen rack in an out-of-the-way location that has the appliances she owns all at waist or chest level for easy retrieval.
Brighten the Lighting in Her Home
Several years ago, the push to move homeowners from using incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient CFLs was prominent across the U.S. The problem with CFLs was that they contained a small amount of mercury, and they also took time to warm up and offer full brightness. For this reason, a new push to switch to LED bulbs and light fixtures began.
LED bulbs are very bright and energy efficient. You can get fixtures for every room in her home, and they’re also available in floor and table lamps. Use these to make sure the entire home is bright. This is important as vision changes as you age, and a shadowy area might cause your mom to stub her toe or trip in an area that’s dimly lit.
Even the healthiest individual may have minor issues that require daily medications. Your mom’s blood pressure is fine, as are her cholesterol levels and weight, but her iron levels are low and her doctor cannot find a reason why. Your mom has to take iron pills for the rest of her life, and she needs to eat iron-rich foods.
Remembering to take medications every day can be frustrating. A pill organizer might help, but your mom may still have days where she forgets and shouldn’t. It could be time to arrange home care aides for medication reminders.
Support your mom’s goal of aging at home by scheduling the home care services she needs. Maintaining her independence doesn’t have to be a struggle. Arrange home care aides to help out where she needs it, and let her accomplish the rest at her pace.