All posts in Articles related to caring for older people

Person Centred Planning Unwrapped

Many professionals consider their practice is person centred but I often struggle to find evidence to support their claim. So what does being person centred mean and what does it look like?

What Being Person Centred Means

There is no universally accepted definition. The key principle for being person centred is to support and empower people to make choices and have control about how they want to live their life. Person centred planning encourages people to be more involved in decisions about their care so they get the support and services that are appropriate for their needs and preferences. It’s about seeing the person as an individual before their age and disabilities, focusing on their preferences, expectations, needs and circumstances and trying to see things from their perspective.

Being person-centred also means being aware of a person’s emotional and spiritual well-being. Spiritual care is not just about religious beliefs and practices: it also reflects the person’s values, relationships and need for self-expression.

Communication Challenges

We need to be aware that people are sometimes unable to tell us what they want. There are many reasons for this; they may be living with dementia, have a physical disability, severe hearing loss or a mental health condition, which makes communication difficult. We may therefore have to use appropriate communication aids to find out what they want and actively encourage them to participate in their care planning so they can be real partners in making decisions about their care choices.

Getting To Know The Person45281480

When planning in a person-centred way with someone, we need to think about the effect of what we’re doing on the person as a whole. We therefore need to know the person and find out as much information as possible. Before you begin care planning, ask the person (or the person/people who know them well) about themselves and the things that are important to them. Listen carefully to what they are saying (sometimes what they are not saying can be as important) and ask probing questions to check your understanding is accurate.

All too often I am asked to undertake an independent care review and find the Manager and carers know very little about the person, especially if they have dementia and don’t have a family. What did they do for a living? Where did they live when they were younger and what did they enjoy doing? What made them happy? What made them sad? What are their likes and dislikes? and one of the most important questions of all, what is important to them?

Don’t only focus on what keeps people healthy and safe. See the person as well and what matters to them- not just what the matter is with them.

A case study

Being person-centred sometimes requires me to think outside the box to achieve my client’s chosen outcome. The following is a good example.

Mrs M lived with her husband who was her primary carer. She had a number of coexisting mental and physical health conditions, including dementia and severe anxiety. She had a suprapubic catheter tube inserted into her bladder through a small hole in her stomach, which she used to empty her bladder. She was encouraged to empty the bag herself to maintain her independence and this required undoing the tap and bending over the toilet pan.

As she progressed along her dementia journey, Mrs M began forgetting to turn the tap off and her clothes became soaked in urine. She always wore tight trousers and would become hysterical when this happened thinking she had wet herself. Her husband’s health was deteriorating, he was losing his sight and found changing her clothes increasingly challenging.

Mrs M’s GP and District Nurse advised that the time had come for her to move into a care home.

I was asked look at care options with the couple.

When I asked Mrs M what was important to her she told me it was remaining in her own home with her husband. They had been happily married for 64 years and didn’t want to live apart.

The solution I recommended was a small gadget produced by the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering department called a Wander Reminder costing £50. I advised this needed to be fixed to the cloakroom wall at the height where she bent over the toilet pan to empty her catheter.

When Mrs M bent over to empty the bag, a motion sensor would trigger a recorded message to remind her to turn the tap off. I advised the message needed to be changed regularly so she didn’t get used to it and ignore it.

Person centred planning and this £50 gadget enabled Mrs M to remain at home with her husband for a further year.

In conclusion

  • Get to know the individual and recognise their individuality. Decisions should always be made from their perspective
  • People have a variety of different preferences, history, circumstances and lifestyles, so the planning process needs to adopt a personalised approach
  • Find out what is important TO the person as well as what is important FOR them
  • Think outside the box to find solutions for the person to consider
  • Person centred planning needs to focus on achieving meaningful improvements in the person’s life and make a difference to it
  • Look at how the person’s identity and independence can be strengthened
  • The person’s needs are likely to change over time so make sure you review the care plan regularly.

“We cannot care for people unless we care about them and we cannot care about them if we don’t know who they are”

Won’t Listen Or Can’t Hear? How Relative Matters’ gave a Client back the Ability to Engage Again.

Relative Matters were recently requested to review the care of an elderly lady in a nursing home. A care review involves a complete review of every aspect of a person’s life to ensure both their financial, physical, psychological wellbeing and religious/spiritual needs are met safely.

Care Reviews

It is often a complex piece of work because it involves reading the care plan through thoroughly, talking to care staff and other involved people such as families or external health professionals, talking to the person whom the care review is about and observing the environment. This then enables Relative Matters to make appropriate recommendations which can include things such as the purchase of more clothing, education and advice to care home staff on how best to interact or engage with the person, particularly if they have a cognitive impairment or dementia or provision of aids such as ipads to facilitate supported communication with loved ones if they live far away or other aids to enhance their ability to engage.

In this particular instance, the lady in question was withdrawn, and in discussion with care staff, Relative Matters were advised that because of her poor hearing she was choosing to disengage. There was some concern about the decline in her mood as a result. Comments such as;

“We know she can hear things but she’s choosing not to be involved”.

“You can’t engage her if she doesn’t want to be engaged”.

“She’s choosing to give up”.

Whilst for some people this may be the case, in this specific case, things just did not add up – her friend who visited frequently kept reporting she can talk and be involved if given one to one time, and her Solicitor who commissioned Relative Matters was saying the same. The inference was that the home had given up on her and that she had been labelled as someone who had withdrawn.

Our intervention

Relative Matters made enquires with the service that completed the hearing test, and were advised that the lady had been issued with new hearing aids, but that she had severe to profound hearing loss and standard hearing aids (although they were high powered ones) would only minimally help due to the specific type of hearing loss that the lady was experiencing. So, it was clear she wasn’t choosing to disengage, she just couldn’t hear!!

Relative Matters never give up on a person; the first tack in addressing this issue for the lady was to rephrase what care staff was saying in an attempt to re-educate them that the person is still inside the lady. In many discussions with various care staff members, when Relative Matters were told “she chooses not to respond to you” this was rephrased as “she has severe to profound hearing loss so it is likely she is really struggling to hear what has been said. We will keep trying to give her every opportunity to engage with us”.

Breaking down pre-conceived labels or thought patterns about people is so important. If you can change an established thinking pattern, just by rephrasing a negative statement into a positive one, this can have astounding positive effects.

On further investigation, advice was sought from the local Action for Deafness service about whether there was any device that may assist so that all opportunities had been explored and exhausted. It was identified that a personal listener device may work for the lady. Relative Matters swiftly acted to escort the lady for assessment and amazingly, one of the personal listener devices worked first time.

Fitting a personal listening device

When asked by the assessor at normal speaking pitch if she could hear, the lady said; “No I can’t hear!” Which of course she could as she heard the question at normal speaking pitch, but that her wry humour which Relative Matters had been told she possessed was coming to light immediately! The magical part is that the lady smirked and even managed a chuckle! Sharing a joke was priceless after being unable to fully engage with her in ‘normal’ conversation up until this point.

Facilitating engagement

The device has transformed the lady’s ability to engage. To capitalise on this, Relative Matters provided some education with care staff to ensure they fully understood the importance of the lady having it with her and on at all times. Within 24 hours, Relative Matters received an email from the care home Manager stating she had come downstairs, engaged in a game of dominos, had been invited to a poetry session but was most insistent she had no interest in going!

This demonstrates how this lady was given a wonderful opportunity to re-engage, have choice in what she engages in, and be able to communicate again.

Our Occupational Therapy consultant and dementia specialist, Liz Tremlett, undertook this piece of work and wrote this blog post.

Relative Matters Ltd

Relative Matters is an independent consultancy for older adults made up of a small, dedicated team of health and social care professionals, all of whom are fully insured, registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), and public disclosure certified. Working together they offer an unprecedented knowledge-base of the local care market and ensure care is highly personalised.

Keeping the older population protected during the colder months

wintermittensmugWith autumn here and winter creeping ever so closer, there is certainly a nip in the air. With this weather comes certain obstacles, especially for elderly people. As a younger person, there are plenty of things you can do to make these chilly seasons a lot more enjoyable for them.

Avoiding Slips and Falls

The first thing you can do to help your elderly friend or relative is to find a good, sturdy walking stick or mobility aid. This will not only reduce the strain on the legs and the knees, but it will also provide that extra bit of stability for a whole host of outdoor activities.

Many people believe it is only the height of the user that determines the walking stick height. But in reality, people come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and proportions. The secret to measuring your walking stick is by following this method:

walkingstickmeasure

Walking Stick Measure

Once you have helped them choose the perfect walking stick, make sure you accompany them on a couple of walks as they get used to the conditions. If you notice they are struggling, perhaps invest in a sturdy ferrule to put at the bottom of the stick.

If they have a garden or driveway, make sure it is gritted each week, as the bags can be too heavy for an elderly person to lift. You could also buy them a handrail if they have slippy steps at the front door.

The Right Clothes

Having the correct indoor and outdoor clothing is essential. Make sure they are a wearing at least a couple of layers as this is more effective than just one thick layer. Thick shoes for outside and nice warm slippers for indoors will keep their toes from freezing. Thick socks, gloves, a hat, and a scarf will ensure their face avoids a chill, as well as protection from illnesses.

Indoors

Try and keep the temperature inside their home above 18 degrees, as being alone in a cold house can cause many problems, including hypothermia. Help out your elderly friend or relative by providing them with a talking thermometer. This will help them keep on top of the temperature in their home when you are not around.

Also, try and organise it so their heating is serviced each year by a professional. This will make sure everything is safe and cost effective to keep their home warm throughout the cold months.

Perhaps treat them to a lovely home cooked meal like a hot bowl of soup or some shepherd’s pie. This will give you peace of mind that you are doing all you can to ensure they are eating enough.

If you need more information on looking after elderly people in cold weather, check out the NHS guide on winter health.

This guest post was provided by Rachel Campbell, a Digital PR Executive for Ability Superstore (https://www.abilitysuperstore.com/)

How to Manage Incontinence When Travelling

Incontinence affects some older people (although it is not an inevitable part of ageing) If someone you know is challenged by continence, try these tips from Harman Direct will be helpful.

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Planning End of Life Care

As its Dying Matters Awareness Week I would like to talk to you about the importance of getting your elderly loved ones to make plans for their end of life care. I have seen what happens when people don’t plan for having an accident, a stroke or an illness such as dementia, which leaves them unable to make decisions such as whether they want life prolonging treatment and how and where they would like to be treated.

This issue is very important to me and although I will be unable to control what happens to me if I find myself in this situation, I want to choose how I live the end of my life and how my funeral is conducted. I have therefore taken out a Lasting Power of Attorney for both my property and affairs and my health and well-being. I am also  one of the 3 in 10 people who have made a will. Why on earth would I want to leave my hard earned dosh to the Government?

Holy spirit dove flies in blue sky, bright light shines from heaven, christian symbol, holy bible story

I would much rather address these matters while I am relatively young and have no intention of dying, although  like everyone else I have no control over that whatsoever. If I leave it too late and am no longer able to make my own decisions, I will not be able to make these plans myself.  Now I can relax, forget about the Lasting Powers of Attorney which will only be able to be used if I am unfortunate enough to loose my marbles so there is no danger of my sons (who are my attorneys)  selling  my home and emigrating with my loot.

Although it is possible to download the LPA forms and will template  from the Internet  and do it yourself I chose not to do this as unintentional mistakes can be made by not considering all eventualities. If you have made your own will and LPAs this only comes to light when it is too late to do anything about it. So find yourself a good solicitor. You will be glad you did.

Here is an example of a situation  I remember from my days of working on night duty at the local hospital. that illustrates my point nicely. I have made up their names for anonymity. To be honest I can’t remember them anyway!

Example of  how failing to plan can cause conflict in a family

Steve lived near his father and they had an especially close relationship. When his father had a stroke Steve was asked whether or not he wanted his father to be resuscitated if his condition deteriorated. Steve told me that his father valued his quality of life and felt that if it was seriously compromised, he would not want his life to be prolonged. However, his brother disagreed and as you can imagine, the situation could have caused a serious conflict within the family. Luckily his father’s condition improved and a decision did not have to be made.

Another example is a personal one. When my father became terminally ill, I knew exactly what his wishes were and had power of attorney to back up decisions I made on his behalf. He died peacefully at home listening to his favourite music, being assured it was OK to let go and reassured that my brother, sister and I would look after our Mother. I cannot stress enough the comfort it gave me to know I was carrying out his wishes just as he would have wanted.

A letter of wishes

I have one last thing to do to ensure my choices are taken into account, I am writing a letter of wishes to be go with my papers, so that my sons know exactly what I want to happen if I have an accident become seriously ill or lose the ability to make decisions for any other reason. Also where and how I want to live if I am unable to make my own choices, how I would like my body disposed of at the end of my life and what I want to happen afterwards.

We are all going to die

As a society we tend to avoid talking about these matters. However, death is a part of life and if they are faced, discussed and planned for we can forget about them, know our wishes will be heeded and acted upon and that we have saved the person or people we have left behind the responsibility of guessing our choices. Don’t leave it too late

Millions leave it too late to discuss end of life wishes. Don’t let an older person you care about be one of them.! The following website offers lots of good information to help you. Dying Matters.Org

Dehydration and Our Need for Water

How do you feel when you’re dehydrated? Some people will immediately notice the tell-tale signs – headaches, dry lips, a dry mouth, tiredness – but others, for any number of reasons, will not. It could be that you’re so used to being dehydrated that you no longer pay attention to the signals, or it could be that you have so much else going on that you don’t have time to think about how thirsty you’re feeling.

Hydration as we age

As we get older, hydration is just as important as ever but is often harder to achieve. Our bodies aren’t always as adaptable as they once were, and we’re even less likely to notice the signals that they’re sending us.

On top of that, it’s often physically more difficult for older people to drink and stay hydrated. For some, getting to the kitchen to prepare a drink is a difficult and time-consuming task. For others, even lifting a cup can be a challenge.

We also have to remember that many older people don’t like water, which has become more popular in the last couple of decades. In this case cordial or sliced fruit can be added to make it more appealing.  water

How to stay hydrated

As a very rough guide, aim to drink approximately two litres of water per day. Each individual has different needs, so this figure might be a little high or a little low for you. What you’ll probably find, however, is that you’ll feel thirstier as you begin to drink more. This is because your previously dehydrated body is now getting used to being properly hydrated.

You can buy specialist equipment to help you or a loved one to stay hydrated, such as the Hydrant Drinking System which features a long and flexible straw, an easy to hold handle and clips for fixing the bottle to a bed or chair and the straw to your clothes.

Reminding yourself to drink

Being physically able to drink, whether you need specialist equipment or not, is only part of the battle. The other issue is that you need to actually remember to drink, which is often much harder than it sounds and made worse by the increasing number of people living with dementia.

Cues are important, whether they come in the form of regular alarms set on a mobile phone or in the form of post-it notes that are stuck around the house. You can remind yourself or a loved one to drink by putting a cup of fresh water/cordial in each room, if you have the energy to do so at the start of the day. Sometimes older people find a water bottle near where they sit a useful reminder. The important thing is finding a way that works for you, so that you or your elderly loved one can be reminded to drink as you go about your day.

The health benefits

Dehydration can lead to a wide range of issues from minor ones such as memory problems and concentration problems to more serious conditions such as kidney stones, joint pain, muscle damage and cholesterol problems.

By drinking enough to stay properly hydrated, you’re providing your body with the important water that it needs to stay healthy, active and as pain-free as possible throughout your retirement years.

If you or someone you know is struggling to drink enough for whatever reason then a visit to the GP might help you to find a solution. Before this, see if tools such as the Hydrant Drinking System or a simple pack of post-it notes could be all that you need to get your drinking habits back on track.

Mobility Smart an online store stocking products to make life easier for those with mobility difficulties and for the older generation requiring living aids and specialist equipment.

Four Fantastic Ways Technology Can Support Your Elderly Relative

We often hear the term “golden years” used to refer to the time between retirement and when we leave this earth, yet many do not understand its meaning. For many, their final years can be a difficult period, fraught with illness, loneliness and general despair. It often falls into the hands of family members to look after and assist their elderly relatives during this time, which can be quite difficult if you’ve never before had to help take care of a loved one. We live in an amazing world these days: the combination of medicine and technology can mean that life is not just extended, but enhanced. If you are helping a loved one and want to keep them happier at home, then continue reading to find out about four ways that technology for older people can help maintain their independence.

MedMinder

It is quite rare to get to the end of your life without ever needing to take some form of medication along the way. Unfortunately, the ageing of our brains can hamper our ability to remember to take our medicine, which will only accelerate the process of deterioration. The Tabtime Medminder offers a solution for this problem, and revolves around a combination of technology for the elderly and smart medicine. The device in question is a pill dispenser, which can ensure that your loved one takes his or her medicine when they need it. This inexpensive and portable solution offers the following:

  • Easy to use interface with no confusing technology for older family members
  • “Set it and forget it” programming: an alarm will alert the family member when it is time to take their medicine
  • Storage of up to one week’s worth of medicine at a time; can hold dozens of pills
  • Large LCD buttons and screen for configuring alarms – perfect for those with bad eyesight
  • Flashing lights and auditory responses will gently yet effectively remind the user when to take their medicine
  • Detachable daily pill blocs can be attached to the alarm keychain for on-the-go use

The MedMinder pill dispenser is available for around £20 on Amazon and through other retailers – a small price to pay for peace of mind for you, and better health for your loved ones.

GPS Watches

While not true for everyone, many older people resist technology due to a feeling of intimidation and a fear of the unknown. This can make it difficult to monitor or engage with the elderly in a remote fashion, but you want to be able to keep an eye on them no matter what. We all understand just how difficult this can be when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, so a passive solution is needed. Enter the concept of GPS watches, which are making big waves in the world of technology for the elderly. So how do they work?

GPS watches include a cellular responder that constantly tracks the location of the wearer. Anyone with a provided phone number or login from afar can pinpoint the exact location of the person at any time. This in turn will display the location on Google Maps or a similar mapping software, which can help you find the person in the event they have wandered off – or if they are currently at home.

Home Sensors

In the past few years, integrated home technology for the elderly has become increasingly common – especially for areas of the home where accidents are common (like the bathroom). A variety of home sensors are now available that can tell you a whole slew of things about what your elderly relative or friend is doing. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Whether the lights in the home have been left on or off
  • When the last time the front or back door was opened
  • If the person has entered the bathroom or bedroom
  • Home intercom systems that allow for instant help in the event an accident occurs
  • If appliances like the refrigerator or stove have been left open or on

Many people seek a new, optimized place for their loved ones to spend their retirement. If you are considering the purchase of a retirement home for your parent, grandparent or other relative, then asking about whether any smart home sensors are included or available is generally a good idea.

Phones for older people big-button-phone

Regardless of resistance to technology, one piece of technology for the elderly that most enjoy is a phone. Being able to chat with friends and family – as well as access emergency services if needed – shouldn’t be a hard sell. Many phones are not easy to use for older people, however, this has led to the development of many different phones being developed specifically for older people.

Some of the main features you can expect to find on a phone for older people include improved speakers for better hearing, large buttons that can be easily read and an emergency call button. A good example is the Big Button Memory Phone Not only does it come with extra large buttons to help them see numbers accurately, it also offers 8 picture customisable memory buttons so that loved ones can be reached easily.

New technology is coming on the market every day so if your elderly loved one is facing a challenge do get in touch and I will try my best to help.

10 Top Tips For Communicating With Someone Living With Dementia

Communicating with people living with dementia is one of the greatest challenges to relatives and carers alike so I hope these tips will help you.

All communication has a purpose and no word or action is meaningless. What sounds like nonsense or repetition of the same question or sentence is, to express a feeling, to show a need, to give information or to get a response. What appears to be an inappropriate response or action may be a form of communication and there can be different ways of interpreting their words or actions.

Communication is more complex than mere speech and difficulties usually begin when people with dementia struggle to find the right words. With my mother this sometimes turns into a guessing game with howls of laughter when I guess the wrong word and tears of frustration if we go on too long.

Things you can do: MC900433934-2

1. Slow down and present as calm, even if you don’t feel it!  People with dementia are unable to process information as quickly as we are.

2, Look into their eyes so they know you are talking to them.

3. Use open and relaxed body language (difficult in a stressful situation I know) and watch what their bodies are saying too.

4. Listen carefully and interpret the meaning behind what they are saying. What time is it? This might mean, I don’t know what I should be doing or I want to go home.  My mother often talks as if she is on an aircraft.  She probably means she wants to get far away from feeling confused, overwhelmed and forgetful.

5. Look for the meaning behind behaviour.  I find it helpful to replace the notion of ‘wandering’ with ‘wondering’ to find a solution. Wandering may have a purpose or the person might be responding to a hallucination.

6. Divert attention to another subject when the person keeps repeating the same questions.  As the long term memory is usually preserved for longer it may help to talk about something in the past.

7. Give reassurance.  I often find that by stroking Mum’s hand, or giving her a hug, the reassurance takes away the stress of her trying to communicate something that is clearly important to her.

8. Change the subject and go back to it later if the person becomes agitated.

9. End a visit calmly and positively.  Feelings will remain and visits can stimulate warm feelings and bring comfort to the person.  Afterwards your loved one may have forgotten your visit and who you are, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

10. Visual and spacial problems

Mirrors –  People may not recognise themselves and think it is someone else they are looking at.

They can misjudge the edge of the table or bathroom furniture unless distinctive with contrasting colours.

Pouring liquids can be can be difficult or even dangerous.

People with dementia are confused by busy patterns

Make sure there is plenty of light. Older people living with dementia often poor eyesight to!

Important to remember…

  • Feelings remain after facts are forgotten
  • The ability to sing remains after speech goes
  • It is the moment of their experience, the ‘here and now’ that is important to people living with dementia

Making Difficult Decisions For An Elderly Relative

Caring isn’t easy and it is quite normal to feel lonely, misunderstood; unappreciated and angry about what is happening to the people we love. Question Mark

However much care we give our elderly loved ones, decline in strength and health is usually painful and it can be very discouraging to know this is happening despite our best efforts. Unfortunately there are no magic formulas or training manuals and we just have to strive to do our best.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to make unpopular decisions about “what is best” for people we love. This can make us feel as if we are betraying them or letting them down in some way, which was certainly the case when we made the decision to move my Mother into a care home. Although we considered every possible option and I knew there was no other way Mum could be looked after because of her obsessive dependence on my father whose own health was deteriorating, I felt guilty at being unable to come up with a solution that would have enabled them to stay together.

Guilt is an emotion commonly associated with caring for an elderly relative and it can sometimes cause us to delay making a decision, until suddenly it reaches a crisis.

However, I would advise you to avoid making life-changing decisions during a time of crisis if you can. Consult with health and care professionals, discuss the matter with your relative and other family members, make the decision and know that you have done the best you can.

Keeping Mum and Dad Occupied and Happy

Guest post by Emma Banks – Carer for her elderly father

Though their mobility and activity levels may change as they continue to age, it’s important to keep your elderly parent engaged as they enjoy a well-rounded life. Studies show that boredom and depression lead to forgetfulness, which make it even more important to help your elderly loved one find hobbies that they love and can easily do at home or with friends. Some of the best ways to keep Mum or Dad happy and positive include:

Get them on an exercise plan that works for them

Physical fitness is a huge part of keeping your elderly parent feeling good. Regardless of their ability level, you can find some form of physical activity that works for them. Popular options include swimming, walking, and Tai chi. You may even consider joining them for regular workouts, as this lets you spend quality time together, while making sure that your parent  is staying active. As an added bonus, studies show that when an older person is exercising regularly, they will enjoy better mobility, fewer physical ailments, and a more positive outlook on life. 005_father_and_daughter_optimised[2]

Find a replacement for the TV

Some older people are more comfortable at home, which is fine, but sitting in front of the TV all day just isn’t a stimulating way to live. If your elderly parent spends a lot of time at home, encourage them to use these hours to read books on new subjects, browse the Internet for blogs or articles they find interesting, or to start a scrapbook. These activities are much more active than just sitting in front of the TV, and will leave them feeling far more satisfied.

Get them something to care for

Depending on your parent’s energy level, consider getting them a pet or a plant to care for. Many older people explain that they feel out of place when they no longer have young children or a spouse to care for. Getting them a pet, whether it’s a bird, fish, dog, or cat, helps them to feel as if they have a purpose. If you don’t think your parent has the ability to care for a pet, you can get them a plant. They’ll still enjoy watering the plant and watching it grow, plus the green adds life and energy to the home.

Make the home comfortable

Ultimately if your parent doesn’t feel at ease in their own home, they’ll quickly become depressed and anxious. There are several steps you can take to make sure Mum or Dad love where they live. Start by removing any unnecessary clutter or rubbish from the space so that it feels neat and tidy. This also helps to eliminate any tripping hazards, making it easier for them to navigate around the space without worrying about slipping. I also try to keep the kitchen full of good foods and drinks for Dad. Everything from fresh fruit to treats. My father’s favorite chocolates are from a supplier here in the US called Shari’s Berries so I also try to keep a healthy stock of those. In the UK , Cocoa Loco supplies similar.

Take care of any light renovations, such as repainting walls or changing pictures on the wall. Even a few simple touch ups can completely reshape the appearance of a home, making it a much more modern and appealing place to spend time.  Make sure that doors and windows are easy to open, and that items are placed within easy reach in cabinets.

If you sense that your parent is still uneasy about living alone, consider bringing in a paid carer a few days per week to help them with basic chores such as light cleaning, grocery shopping, and laundry. In many cases, this can help to make your elderly loved one feel more comfortable in their own space. It also takes some of the stress off of them, as they can enjoy their independence without having to worry about mustering up the energy to deal with the shopping or cleaning up after a meal.

Conclusion

You can play a major role in ensuring that your loved one remains happy and engaged throughout all stages of their life. By getting them into a routine that’s filled with hobbies they love and a comfortable, clean home, you’re helping them to ward off depression and anxiety.