How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

It’s difficult to watch your aging loved ones struggle with the day-to-day tasks of living. You want to help them, but you don’t know what they need or how much is too much. The best thing you can do if you don’t know How to Keep Them Safe and Independent is offer assistance with simple tasks and respect their autonomy by giving them the opportunity to help themselves.

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

It’s also important not to take over for them, but it is equally important that they know they are loved and that you’re there to support them in any way possible!

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

Keeping the elderly independent comes with much responsibility from all parties involved. The parent, the children and at times even caregiver can feel frustrated by this process. I’ve found that parents enjoy their independence as long as they’re safe and secure in their homes. Even if their physical abilities aren’t what they used to be, it’s important for them to feel like they can do things for themselves while living alone.

When you come into the picture, this whole scenario becomes a balancing act on your part. And it’s not easy! You want your parents to feel independent but safe at the same time. 

First, you may need to evaluate whether your parent’s home is safe and secure enough for them to live by themselves. If the answer is yes, then set up some simple rules that will help ensure their safety but also allow them to maintain their independence.

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

The following are some of my suggestions…

Offer Assistance with Simple Tasks

Remember that you may not know all the struggles your loved one is going through, so it’s important to offer assistance without being presumptuous. You can ask them if there are any tasks they need help with (like cleaning the house or doing the laundry).

Then, offer to take on some of those tasks. If they don’t want your help, that’s okay! Just be sure to give them an opportunity to tell you what they need in their own words.

Offer Assistance with Simple Tasks

Respect their Autonomy

After you’ve offered assistance, respect the elderly loved one’s decision to either accept your help or not. It can be difficult to watch them struggle with a task that is second nature to you, but it might just be frustrating for them and they simply need someone to observe.

Respecting their autonomy by giving them the opportunity to help themselves is important, no matter what they need help with. You may be used to giving orders and leading tasks to completion, but that’s not the best approach for a loved one who may have different needs.

Instead, offer to help when they’re doing something and see if they’ll let you do some of the tasks involved. For instance, if you want to help them clean up their kitchen, ask them if it would be okay with them if you washed the dishes while they sweep.

Sometimes your loved one has other skills that are still functional but are just waiting to re-surface. Offer encouragement and praise for anything they can do without assistance. This will give them the confidence to help themselves!

Respect their autonomy

As a caregiver for your aging parent, you are probably very concerned about them being safe and healthy. However, there is one thing that you can do to help keep your family healthier than any other precaution:

You have to let go of control.

Loving the elderly is a choice, but it’s something you have to do without your own selfish interests in mind. By allowing your parent to maintain their independence during their later years, you are doing them and your entire family a great service.  You can’t control everything that happens around you, but if you’re confident that both they and you are safe and sound, you’ll be relieved of worry.  

Being able to let go of control has been one of the biggest challenges for me in dealing with a loved one’s personal needs on my own.  I didn’t want them to struggle with things they were used to doing without effort, but I had to remind myself that it was as much for me as it was for them:  I couldn’t control everything.  

In fact, I realized that I did more harm than good by always trying to take over because of my own need to feel in-charge.  It wasn’t until I stepped back and allowed my parent’s independence to flourish again that I was able to relax and enjoy our time together more.  

You have to let go of control.

When you’re consistently worried about your loved one doing something wrong, it’s difficult for them to feel secure that you actually love them for who they are.

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent: Support them

Don’t take over for them, but make sure they know you’re there to support them in any way possible! Remember that your loved one may be used to doing certain tasks on their own and may have anxiety in new situations. Offer help with simple tasks like taking the garbage out or going to the store.

If they tell you they don’t need help, ask them what you can do to help them. It’s important that they know that you’re there for them no matter what. It’s also important not to take over for them, but it is equally important that they know you’re there to support them in any way possible!

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

The bottom line:

It is important not to take over for your aging loved ones, but it is equally important that they know you’re there to support them in any way possible!

Make sure they are safe and secure while maintaining their independence is a joyous undertaking. It may seem daunting at first, but with some practice, you should be able to do it easily. Good luck!

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5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active

Independent Living Tips for Seniors? You’ve just retired and you’re ready to move forward with your next stage of life. Living independently might be a new experience for you, so how do you make the adjustment?

5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active

Living on your own can be rewarding, but it does require some adjustments. Here are 5 independent living tips that will help seniors stay active in their daily lives and continue to live an engaged lifestyle.

5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active

My five independent living tips for seniors are important to follow for a better quality of life. These five independent living tips for seniors involve dependence on others outside the home, yet can help those less likely to have to live in a retirement home or other less than ideal situation.

These five independent living tips for seniors are in no particular order. Deciding whether to live alone, with relatives, or in another setting is one where all factors should be considered carefully.

Have A Call and Stop-By List In Place

Living alone doesn’t mean living lonely. For seniors, you must have at least a couple of people outside your home watching your back every week. Have them call you or stop by your house once or twice a week to make sure you are alright, and to provide some human contact. Owning a pet can also provide companionship and protection.

This is the most important thing to do and will help you maintain a higher quality of life.

Independent Living Tips for Seniors

Hire Out or Find Volunteers For Strenuous and/or Risky Household Chores

Unless you’re fit and agile and have even discussed doing strenuous or risky household chores with your doctor, find a volunteer to do this or hire someone for these tasks.

What kind of chores are we talking about?

Heavy lifting, moving furniture, shoveling snow in the winter, getting on a ladder and cleaning out the storm gutters, and taking out the trash.

There are many people who would be happy to help you with these chores in exchange for food or money, or they might do it because they want to lend a hand and feel like part of your family.

These chores aren’t worth breaking a bone or having a heart attack over. If you do decide to take on these tasks, at the very least, have someone help you.

Hire Out or Find Volunteers

Create a Home Evacuation Plan

No matter if you live alone or with others, fires and other natural disasters can create a difficult situation when trying to immediately evacuate a home. This is especially true for fires.

Call your local fire department official(s) (a city, county, or state fire agency) and have them visit your home to advise you on making it safer and more ready-made for safe evacuation.

And make sure that you have a list of the medications and other medical supplies you use handy, and give a copy of this list to a trusted person who can advise medical staff in the event of an emergency.

Make Sure Your Legal Affairs Are In Order

Being independent means being smart when it comes to managing your personal affairs of financial, property, and medical aspects of your life. Consult a lawyer about powers of attorney, especially for health care and finances (in the event of incapacitation).

Make Sure Your Legal Affairs Are In Order

Make sure you have a will and that it’s updated to reflect your wishes. Don’t leave your family and loved ones in the lurch in the event of your passing or incapacitation.

We can go into the legal ramifications of what a will or living trust is later, but it is important to talk to your financial planner or lawyer and get this taken care of. If you don’t currently have either of those people handy, check with your local bank and see if they can help you.

If Possible, Have a “Life Alert” Type of System Set-Up in Your Home

Falling is the number cause of accidental injury for people 65 and older who are at home. What happens if you fall and can’t get up and aren’t near a phone nor are people nearby to hear you?

If you can afford to do so or can find a locally-based program that covers the cost, set up a “Life Alert” type of system that lets you immediately alert emergency personnel in the event of an accident or other emergency via a worn point of contact gadget.

Independent Living Tips for Seniors

One of the best ways to stay independent is by staying active. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean being physically fit, it means keeping your mind and body busy through activities like reading books, playing board games or cards with friends and family members (or strangers!), going on walks outside amongst nature – there’s so much more than just gardening, taking classes, learning a new skill and keeping your brain busy by learning to play an instrument.

Some of these activities you can do on your own time, but others might require some help from family members or friends.

No matter what activity you choose, make sure that it keeps both the mind and body active! Living independently doesn’t mean just staying at home and going on a walk once in a while.

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The Challenge of Caring for An Aging Parent From a Distance

As difficult as caregiving can be, it is possible to take care of your own needs and provide meaningful support for your aging parent. The key is knowing how to balance these two things without either becoming overwhelmed or feeling like you’re neglecting yourself.

The Challenge of Caring for An Aging Parent From a Distance

In this article, we’ll explore the challenges of caring from a distance—and what you can do about them.

Distance and Stress

For any caregiver, distance can be a major source of stress. This is particularly true if you live far away from your aging loved ones and don’t have a regular opportunity to spend time with them. When you’re caring for an aging parent from a distance, it’s easy to worry that something is wrong—and you can’t be there to help.

Distance also means that you can’t solve problems on the spot, or do things like providing a ride to an important appointment. It can be more difficult to keep track of all that’s going on and feel fully informed about their care—particularly if your loved one is in multiple settings, such as being cared for at an assisted living facility (ALF) and a home health agency (HHA).

It can also be difficult to find time for caregiving tasks, like visiting the doctor or researching care options. And if there are many siblings in the picture, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page about their parent’s needs and preferences.

Your loved one’s distance from you doesn’t have to mean more work for you, however. It can be easier if they’re close enough that you can visit them frequently and participate in making care decisions. If this isn’t possible, there are plenty of ways to reduce the impact on your own well-being while still doing what’s best for your loved one.

aging parent

Protect Yourself—and Your Loved One

Let’s face it: family caregivers have a lot on their plate, and they don’t have the opportunity to take time off as a paid caregiver might. Sooner or later, you’re bound to be overwhelmed, fatigued, and stressed out. It’s important to take steps to protect yourself from these negative effects.

For example, if you live far away, plan regular visits with your loved one in the weeks before and after each visit—or set up a video or phone call that will help you feel connected while taking pressure off of your tight schedule. Encourage them to do the same with you.

Stress can also come in the form of guilt, and this is particularly true if you live far away from your aging loved one but still able to work or carry out normal activities—and they are not. Having a strong support network that includes friends, family members, and others who understand your situation can help you feel less guilty about living life to the fullest while your loved one might be experiencing some challenges.

meals on wheels

Remember, though, that you can’t protect yourself from everything—and avoiding serious stress altogether isn’t healthy or realistic. You should always take time for self-care and know when it’s time to ask for help from others. If you’re having trouble balancing the demands of caregiving and your own life, you can ask other family members for additional help.

If necessary, reach out to an adult day program or a home health aide to provide respite care when you need it most. You may also want to discuss the situation with a professional geriatric care manager (GMC) who can give you advice while helping you find qualified caregivers.

Does your loved one give you a guilt trip?

If you live far away, it’s easy for your aging loved ones to feel like you don’t care as much about them.

In these situations, it’s important to remember that many older adults have difficulty telling the difference between guilt and compassion—and they might try to guilt you into doing more for them.

use senior centers

If your loved one uses guilt to manipulate you into doing more, it’s important to be honest about how much time and energy you can give. Be honest about your own limits, but be kind when explaining the situation.

Say something like, “I’m sorry that I won’t be able to visit as often as I’d like—right now I’m working a lot of hours at work and taking care of my family. I’m also trying to get enough sleep and exercise every day so that I can keep from getting sick.”

If you’re honest but gentle, your loved one is more likely to understand where you’re coming from—even if it’s difficult for them to hear.

Are there paid services you can use?

From Meals on Wheels to chore services and private-duty nursing care, there are many paid options for your aging loved one. These services can be expensive, but they can also be worth the cost if you have trouble juggling caregiving with work or family obligations.

helping aging parents

If you’re able to pay for these types of services, it’s important not to feel guilty about using them. It’s your loved one who needs the service, not you—and they’ll be much happier if their care is handled professionally, instead of depending on family members who can’t spare as much time and attention.

In the end, it’s important to remember that stress is a normal part of life—and taking care of an aging parent from far away doesn’t mean that your situation has to be difficult. There are plenty of ways to manage work and loved ones without sacrificing one for the other.


The Challenge of Caring for An Aging Parent From a Distance

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Gifts for Seniors – 10 Great Ideas

The holidays are coming up, and you may be wondering what gifts to get for the seniors in your life. It can be difficult during these busy times of year to find gifts that they will enjoy.

Gifts for Seniors - 10 Great Ideas

We have compiled a list of 10 great gifts for seniors– including ones for those who live independently or with family, as well as gifts for nursing home residents.

Gifts for Seniors – 10 Great Ideas

Are you having a hard time buying a gift for a senior loved one? Gifts are really hard to buy for people as they get older, but gifting a senior citizen doesn’t have to be hard, it just needs to come from the heart.

The easiest way to gift a senior citizen is to give something that the senior citizen could not so easily buy. Here are ten gift ideas for your favorite senior citizen:

Homemade bread.

A senior citizen often likes something sweet with coffee for afternoon snacks, so why not whip up a loaf of homemade banana bread or homemade apple bread for your favorite senior citizen? Wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and top it with a bow. This makes a perfect anytime gift for your favorite senior citizen.

You can try a variety of baked goods to keep things fresh – like some of these great ideas we found:

Gifts for Seniors - 10 Great Ideas

A Casserole.

Cooking a meal is sometimes exhausting for a senior citizen, so why not bake a delicious one-meal casserole and deliver it up as a gift for your favorite senior citizen. You can leave the casserole dish as part of the gift, or you can offer ongoing refills on a weekly/monthly basis just for your favorite senior citizen returning the dish each time.

May I suggest breaking it down into smaller portions first? That way a few can go into the freezer for later use. Who wants to eat the same thing night after night? If you did this for a few months with different casseroles, eventually they would have a freezer full of a nice variety.

Lawn mowing.

It’s a tough job to mow the lawn in the heat, especially for a senior citizen. So, why not save your favorite senior citizen the trouble by gifting a lawn mowing? Not only will this serve as a helpful gift for your favorite senior citizen, but it’ll also make you feel better about yourself, and you might even get a glass of tea out of the deal.

Lawn mowing

Trip to the beauty/barbershop.

Is your favorite senior citizen on a fixed income? If so, he/she might not be able to afford that special attention from a beauty shop/barbershop. So, why not take your favorite senior citizen for a haircut, hairstyle, or a permanent one? You drive; you pay. This is one of the best senior citizen gifts as it helps their self-esteem too!

Even a manicure or pedicure could be a huge treat – pedicures are great if they have diabetes, it helps you subtly keep an eye on their health.

A hand-delivered meal.

A senior citizen often enjoys getting a home-cooked plate of food cooked by someone else, so why not dish out a plate for your favorite senior citizen when you cook your own family a meal? You might want to be careful with the spices. As a person ages, spices tend to agree less with the digestive system.

It can be nice to whip up a few that only need a quick zap in their microwave – and they often taste better than the options from meals on wheels.

A hand-delivered meal

Outing to a senior dance.

Give your favorite senior citizen the chance to mingle with people his/her own age by taking your favorite senior citizen to a senior citizen dance. You can dance, too. The evening will provide both of you with some good exercise and some good company.

Trust me – some of those seniors might easily out dance you – after all, they know every step!

A Night at bingo.

A night at bingo can really pep up the spirits of your favorite senior citizen. Bingo helps with thinking/reaction skills, and the good news is that it doesn’t cost a lot to spend an afternoon at bingo. Play a card or two while you both sip on sodas, and your favorite senior citizen will walk away with a smile stretched across his/her face.

If it is at your local casino? Go for the buffet too!

A Night at bingo

Visit the senior citizen center.

Many towns provide senior citizen centers, and these centers offer a variety of activities, so treat your senior citizen to a ride to your local senior citizen center. Your favorite senior citizen will have the chance to play dominoes, shuffleboard, or other activities during the visit.

If you don’t have a senior center, check our local parks and recreation guide for different activities. Often they have great bargaining power and get amazing deals for all participants.


Want a fun time with your favorite senior citizen? Why not gift your favorite senior citizen with a nice set of dominoes and then set up a weekly domino night. You can build on that gift by baking a loaf of banana bread, etc, and run on over one night a week for some good clean fun with your favorite senior citizen.

If Dominoes aren’t your thing – there are so many other great games for 2 people to play: GO is a great example. It originated in China in ancient times. It was considered one of the four essential arts of a cultured Chinese scholar in antiquity and is described as a worthy pastime for a gentleman in the Analects of Confucius. Maybe Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Cribbage? Maybe try a new game every month!


Day of housecleaning.

Even a senior citizen who lives in a small apartment might have a hard time keeping a clean house due to mobility/energy issues. Worse yet, with declining eye issues they fail to see how bad things might really be getting.

Worst-case scenario? They have bugs in their pantry and aren’t even aware that they are getting extra protein with their daily cereal. I only mention this as it is something we had to deal with. Even the couch my mother-in-law practically lived in had little creatures living off the crumbs she had dropped.

So, why not share your abundant mobility/energy by helping out with some household chores. You don’t even have to completely clean the house. Just do the dishes or vacuum the floors.

Day of housecleaning

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How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents? As we get older our parents get older as well. You don’t think about it much until the time comes around when you are forced to have that tough conversation. What happens when my parents aren’t able to take care of themselves? 

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

This is very difficult to talk about or think about for both you and your parents. The ones who have cared for you your whole life now need you to take care of them. It’s a surreal feeling and can be emotional for some. 

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

You essentially reverse the roles and take on the responsibility of supporting them, worrying about them and caring for them. Most of the time families don’t talk about this part of their lives but this leads to all kinds of stress and miscommunication. 

It’s important to talk about this with your parents. You need to touch on topics such as finances, medical care, and estate planning. 

Do they have a will set up? Are their finances in order for emergency care? What are their final wishes? 

It’s important to have this convo SOONER rather than LATER no matter how much they fight you on it. 

The best time to start the conversation is now

The best time to start the conversation is now

Once your parents start aging into the years of 55+ they most likely start thinking about a will and what to do when that time comes for assistance. It’s not fun but we all have to face that topic eventually. 

Many parents will talk about this once they start having children in case something happens unexpectedly. They have the reassurance that their children are set up years ahead of time. 

Your parents may be handling these topics as they age but more than likely they aren’t talking to their children about it. It’s a difficult topic to talk about and many families don’t want to speak of it because it’s “too soon”. 

The reality is that it is never too soon. You never know how life will end up and it’s important to start that conversation as soon as possible.

Always make sure your parents know how much you love them before it’s too late!

Start the conversation with a question

Start the conversation with a question

When approaching this situation you want to make sure you don’t offend your parents. You want to let them know that you care about their well-being and you want to be there for them. You aren’t trying to hurt their feelings, you want to make sure you are prepared to care for them if anything may happen. 

Come prepared, and do your research on the topic of caring for aging parents. You can find some good questions and topics to touch on. This will make it easier on you and you will feel more confident and less overwhelmed. There is a lot of important information to remember when talking about this topic. Having questions prepared will make the conversation smoother for all of you.

Start the conversation off with non-threatening questions. These can be questions like:

  • How is the car treating you? Have you had any issues driving it?
  • The house is looking great, how much maintenance is needed for this size home?

Start it off with these conversational questions and easily transition into the questions you came there for. They may get emotional and upset throughout the conversation but this is normal. This isn’t an easy topic. 

Are They Prepared?

Are They Prepared?

It’s hard to think that one day your parents won’t be able to care for themselves from day to day. Things like driving a vehicle, walking up the stairs and cooking dinner become a struggle for them.

You need to be sure they are prepared for this time. Find out who they have named as an emergency contact, doctor, or lawyer. Ask if they have a medical plan of action.  If possible, set up in advance any medical appointments they need so that everything is taken care of without stress. 

Work together on a plan of action for when the time comes. This could include setting up power of attorney and wills. It can get costly for you or for them if they don’t get the necessary care needed at the right time. You can come across scams, high insurance bills or accidents. 

Studies have shown that many aging individuals have cognitive impairment when they age and this causes damaging financial decisions. They stop paying their bills, stop paying their taxes and make poor financial decisions. 

This is a dangerous situation and things like this need to be planned out ahead of time. 

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them 

Remember that this might not go smoothly at first – but it will get easier! Be patient with them and don’t give up. It may take some time for your parents’ perspective to change on these topics but remind them that this is for their safety. You only want to help. 

Be kind and understanding while still keeping things clear and direct. Don’t forget to ask questions about what else your parents are worried about or uncomfortable with. 

Offer more compliments and resolutions rather than stating outright that eventually they will need to go to a home. Set the tone for the conversation in a positive tone rather than a negative and accusatory tone. You can get a pretty good feel on how your parents are feeling about certain topics and questions by their body language. 

If they seem anxious, fidgety or get silent you should probably pull back a bit and focus on a different area. 

Finally, keep in mind that your parents may feel more comfortable talking face-to-face than over the phone or through email; consider going to your parents home next time you’re able.

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them

In Conclusion

Remember that you may not be able to have the entire conversation at once. It may take a few conversations with your parents over dinner to gather all of the information you need to feel prepared. 

If you have siblings or close relatives, ask them to help you address this conversation. The more support you have the better. This also shows your parents that they have people who love them and want the best for them. Be patient, be understanding and support them no matter what. 

The Best Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent’s Belongings

Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent’s Belongings? There is a time in your life when you have to deal with the belongings of an aging parent. Whether it’s because they’ve passed away or they are no longer able to take care of themselves, there will come a time when you need to decide what to do with their possessions.

The Best Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent's Belongings

These days many people want to keep as much stuff out of landfills as possible and at the same time avoid paying for storage space so downsizing can be difficult for everyone involved. However, if we look at this process through a new lens, it could actually be a positive experience that brings families together.

The Best Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent’s Belongings

When it comes time for your parents to move into a senior living home it can be very overwhelming and emotional. You now have a house full of belongings and no clue where to start. You have years of memories, collectibles, and furniture to find a place for. 

The first thing you will have to do is go through all of the items in your parent’s home. You don’t want to get rid of any family memories, collectibles, or items that mean something to your parents. This is tedious and will take some time but is necessary as the first step to this process. 

Once you sort through the important belongings, what do you do with the rest of the items? You don’t want to clutter up your home, you don’t want to pay for storage….so what do you do?

Also, how can you get your parents to agree to get rid of items they no longer need? 

The Best Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent's Belongings

If you decide to pack everything up and save it in a storage unit that only delays the work. You will have this huge project sitting in a storage unit waiting to be tended to. Make it easier on yourself and take care of as much as you can now. 

Read some of the strategies below for more information on how to handle your aging parents’ belongings. 

What Should I Do With Their Stuff If They Are Downsizing?

As mentioned above, you will need to sort through what they NEED to keep and what they WANT to keep with them. After all, it is their stuff – they should have the first pick.

They should be able to bring what they’d like with them within reason, but everything in a 2000+ square foot home simply won’t fit in that nursing home. 

From there you can personally go through and gather all of the keepsakes and memorable items for yourself and your family. Gather those items and store those away in your home, storage unit, etc. 

What Should I Do With Their Stuff If They Are Downsizing?

Tips For Minimizing Belongings

Ask for help: Gather family and friends to help you sort through everything. Make a weekend out of it and divide and conquer. This will be more efficient and help make the process more fun, no one wants to do this alone. 

Digitize photos: Every parent has frames and frames of pictures of the family from over the years. They are in frames, albums, or organized photo boxes. You don’t want to throw family pictures away, it just doesn’t feel right and you don’t have to. Inquire with some companies about digitizing your photos for you. This will help minimize clutter and allow you to keep the memories. 

Jewelry is worth something: Take the leftover jewelry into a shop with a professional appraiser. Have them look at the jewelry and determine its value. You can sell them the jewelry and know you’re getting your money’s worth. 

Selling Family Belongings

Selling Family Belongings

Aging care is expensive! Your parents will need that money in their account to help cover the expenses of their new living center. Selling items you no longer need such as furniture and clothing are easy to do with multiple options to choose from. 

The easiest way to sell off belongings is to take the items into a thrift store or consignment store. The other way to sell items is online such as Etsy or eBay. This is a long process and more time-consuming for you. If you have the time and you enjoy the online platform feel free to use this strategy but if you are looking for the easiest process possible, consignment stores will be your best friend!

Garage sales are also a great choice for selling your belongings. Gather the items and put a sign up around the neighborhood promoting the garage sale coming up. People love garage sales and with an abundance of items to choose from it is sure to be a hit. 

Donating Items To Charity

Donate any items that are no longer needed or you can’t sell. This can be old clothes, books, kitchen utensils, furniture, jewelry, etc.  Donate to places such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity. 

Be sure to keep all receipts of any donations you make. Your parents can use this as a tax deduction!

Ask Family or Friends If They Are Interested

Since your family and friends are helping you they are welcome to take whatever they see. Offer them the choice to choose any items to keep while organizing and packing up items. This can be furniture, home decor, books, etc. 

You never know, there could be enough furniture to furnish a small apartment for their child or themselves. The more they take the less you have to worry about, right? 

Ask Family or Friends If They Are Interested

Let The Community Do The Work For You 

Another easy way to get rid of items is to leave the belongings on the curb for neighbors or people in the community to pick up. You see this a lot when people are moving out or renovating. They will leave furniture, toys, etc on the curb for people to come by and pick up. 

You can find some real gems by doing this and many people look for items like this in neighborhoods all the time. 

If your city is holding a community garage sale or neighborhood garage sale, sign up as a contributor! 

Let The Community Do The Work For You

Senior Moving Professionals 

Believe it or not, there are companies out there that specialize in helping take care of your parents’ home and belongings. You can ask the staff at the senior living center about these senior moving professionals. They can get you in contact with the right people.

These professionals are there every step of the way from planning before the move to support after they move out. They will save you time, money, and support for you and your parents. They know how hard this can be on the parents as well and they are there to make you and your parents feel as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Consider hiring a senior moving professional and have the comfort of knowing your parents’ belongings are in good hands.

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How To Help Aging Parents Stay In Their Home

As our parents and those around their age group gets older, they have a passion for living at home instead of opting for a senior care home. They feel the confidence that if they are home, they will be happier thus live longer. However, it is not always as easy as it sounds because, at times, they require extensive care to stay in their home and don’t have anyone around.

How To Help Aging Parents Stay In Their Home

Reaching 65 and over is the point where they have the hardest adjustments to make as they ponder their fate of staying at home or not.

How To Help Aging Parents Stay In Their Home

Based on reports from the American Associated of Retired Persons (AARP), even low-income earners or those living along the line of poverty prefer to stay at the place they called home for all those years.

However, children and others responsible for their elderly family members have noted the importance of keeping them where they are used to though it comes with lots of challenges. The question is often asked, “If they are to stay at home, what is required?” In keeping them at home, some individual decisions and plans must be put in place to ensure all is well. These include:

Providing Nutritious Meals Helps Stay in Their Home

When they plan to stay at home, plans have to be made to provide them with nutritious meals that their bodies will need to function. If they don’t have a set meal provider, connecting with a food-feeding program or ministry like “Meals on Wheels” should be considered.

Bear in mind their bodies can no longer produce the needed proactive cells to fight back viruses and other negative forces, and as such, the various nutrients will be needed to do the job effectively.

How can I help my elderly parent stay at home?

Supervised Medication

When they are at home, someone must keep abreast of their medication and ensure they always take them. Messing up medication schedules can harm the body and eventually be fatal.

As they go up in age, most elderly tend to lose their sense of memory, so they may even misplace their pills. Also, some take injections and will need assistance in performing the relevant processes. There should be an assigned help or arrange for an in-house nursing service to assist them.

Don’t Let Them Overwork

When looking at having them stay in their home, you have to step in and keep them from doing too much. There is always work to be done in the home from mopping the floors to dusting the tables and windows.

With your parents at home, you would not want them to be consumed with the household chores that will cause them to become overwhelmed and drained. You have to reduce or eliminate the workload by hiring a house cleaner to take care of the cleaning, washing, and sometimes cooking.

Also, getting the assistance of a landscaper will be great to take care of the weeding and mowing, and shoveling of snow in the winter. Of course, you may not be successful in taking it all away from them because they tend to have that level of “independence” in trying to do their work themselves.

Don’t Let Them Pay The Bills

In a time when scammers are on the rise, you may want to keep an eye on all those mail they pick up. Scammers have a way of making the “common bills look real” by addressing the phone or electricity company, and the elderly may not be able to tell the difference efficiently.

How can we help aging parents?

Millions are duped from the elderly each year because they are not aware of what they are spending their money on. Having someone around will provide guidance, or you can arrange for online payment so they won’t have to handle any cash.

After all, all that waste is bad for their finances, especially as they will need their money for future medical and other purposes.

Get Their Homes Senior proofed

There is nothing as hard as having a broken bone or hip to recover from, especially at such tender age. When your parents decide to keep living at home, one of the significant things you should consider is getting the house senior proofed.

By this, you can install rails on the stairs or sidebars along the walls for support. You may also want to fit elevated toilet seats so they won’t be pressured to sit low and put their selves at risk of falling.

If you live in a home with stairs, allowing them to stay on the lower ground may also be safer as it reduces the pressure to climb the excessive staircase.

The bottom line? We want them to be a safe as possible with diminishing physical capabilities. My dad couldn’t eventually walk three steps without resting, stairs were a nightmare for him.

Reduce Their Driving

Driving is one of the independent things that they never wish to give up because they always want to be mobile. However, at the rate drivers are now, it may not be so safe for them to be out there on their own. Just know getting the keys away from them won’t be so easy!

What do seniors need to stay in their homes?

But, initiating a conversation before a serious accident happens is the key. There is a way to lighten their key grip: let them understand the reasons you are doing what you think is best. Make sure you offer alternatives. You can offer to take them on their appointments or hire a driver to take them around.

*Teach Them To Use Modern Technology

Technology is taking over the world and keeping your parents in the know is the best way going forward. With the use of technology, they will be able to stay in touch with friends and family through different platforms.

It also keeps them in the loop with the news, weather, their favorite games, and so much more. Technology will provide some level of comfort for them as if they can’t get to go out to get their papers or magazines; they can easily access from a tablet or computer.

The hard part of aging is being able to do it with dignity. If they truly want to stay in the home they grew up in then make it suit their needs. If not? look at moving them into one of their children’s houses. Being around family gives them comfort and lets them feel safe knowing they are around people who care for them. But that is a topic for another day.

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Enabling Aging Parents to Age In Place

Adult children caring for aging parents can feel more confident and less burdened if they know what to expect. This primer on slow medicine and how to help them age in place can help.

The principles of “aging in place” and Dr. Dennis McCullough’s “slow medicine” can help adult children get unstuck from difficult relational issues when caring for aging parents.

age in place article cover image

Age in Place: What Those Caring for Aging Parents Should Know

Aging in place is a movement to help aging parents stay in their homes for as long as possible.

To achieve this, adult children and their aging parents need to overcome the prevailing belief in society that discussing illness and death is akin to bringing it on. Like any other goal in life, aging in place requires forethought, planning, and discussion.

Age in Place: What Those Caring for Aging Parents Can Do

Adult children can initiate conversations with aging parents early on by asking them about their experience of aging and their view of the future.

They can research legal and financial planning that will help achieve the goals of everyone involved, instead of waiting for a crisis that can take choices away.

Adult children can research and understand communities like Beacon Hill that provide the services people need to age in place.

Slow Medicine: What Those Caring for Aging Parents Should Know

Adult children caring for aging parents need to understand how to prevent medical crises.

Slow medicine teaches that the current medical protocols in our society are often not in the best interests of the elderly. In most cases, they cater to the needs of doctors, insurers, and younger people.

The prevailing medical paradigm teaches that everything that can be tried should be tried at all costs. This ignores the fact that death is a natural part of life, and an individual is more than just an illness.

Elderly individuals have needs unique to their age that are not taken into account in health care. For example, it can take an older adult twice as long to recover from a simple procedure than a person at mid-life. Yet insurers do not honor this.

Slow Medicine: What Adult Children Caring for Aging Parents Can Do

Slow medicine emphasizes developing a “Circle of Concern” – the friends, neighbors, adult children, doctors, nurses, and other support persons aging parents must rely upon to prevent crises and help them stay in their homes longer.

Adult children can help this type of trust develop over time by starting a conversation about health care early on and listening instead of pushing. Aging parents will be more likely to confide in adult children and doctors if they see them as collaborators and not dictators who will push difficult and taxing medical procedures on them.

When an elderly parent complains of being tired or slowing down, adult children need not tell their parents that he or she is “giving in” or “giving up.” Adult children need to accept the facts of aging.

Aging parents have slowed down cognitively. There may be hearing and vision loss. They are more apt to withdraw than to open up in a crowd of visitors. Adult children may need to spend one-on-one time with each parent to truly understand what is going on.

If adult children understand what to expect practically and medically, the latter part of their aging parents’ lives can be a healing time of connection, rather than a terrible burden being carried by an adult child alone. Slow medicine and aging in place resources can help.

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10 Great Books On Aging Parents

Great Books On Aging Parents? Whoever said it was easy to care for your elderly parents may never have experienced the real deal when it comes to their demand and overall – living! They can either prove to be difficult, be restrained, segregate themselves, or cooperate and let life takes its course.

Either way, you will need help as a child who is taking care of your elderly parent. As such, those who have dealt with it or are dealing with it have put their feelings into words to help guide you and let you know what is happening.

10 Great Books on Aging Parents

Here are a few books you can consider reading through to help you along the way…

How to Care for Aging Parents

This book will help you get all the answers you need to questions you wished you didn’t have to ask. How to Care for Aging Parents is a resourceful material prepared by Family Caregiver Alliance and is a strong source of information, support, and stability.

It is regarded as a compassionate and comprehensive caregiver’s bible that guides you through the changes to be expected, the adjustments you must make, how to avoid being “a parent to your parent,” as well as how to deal with any potential difficult issue or crisis that may arise. If you have the time for only one of the Great Books On Aging Parents, this would be it.

Reading this book will guide you on how to cope with chronic issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory loss illnesses. They will not easily adjust to you (even if they lived with you), and this book provide a guide on how to work through this.

Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent

If you have to deal with a parent who always blamed you, doesn’t want to be alone, is obsessed with sickness, or finds pleasure in pulling your legs the wrong way, then you need this book. Of course, it is stressful to deal with an aging parent who does not find it easy to adjust to life because of the crisis health or other conditions may bring.

You can aid in helping them to transition from one stage of life to another and dealing with anger, guilt, frustration, and blame. This book is seen as a “common-sense guide” from a team of professionals who have had firsthand experience in dealing with people who go through this condition. Reading this book also helps you to:

  • Have the talk with your parents about not being able to live with you
  • Handle negativity from your parents
  • Deal with a parent who is impaired from one condition or the other
  • Decide the best options for living when your parents can no longer live alone.  

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves

When you are thrown in the position of taking up an instance caregiver role, you will understand how difficult and stressful it can be to take care of your aging parent(s).

Writer Jane Gross was put in a similar situation and is the ultimate reason which prompted her to write her book, A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves. The book tackles issues such as:

  • Dealing with their health conditions and which medical providers may be the best.
  • The truth about assisted living and how to handle hard situations.
  • Family medicines and therapeutic aids for selected health conditions.

Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind)

When looking for Great Books On Aging Parents, it is because you realize Caring for your aging parents is a job all by itself, so if you have a full-time job while doing this…it is inevitable for you to become overwhelmed. In the book Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind), the writer made it straightforward what it is like to live and deal with them. The book guides you on how to:

  • Deal with their medication
  • Create a safe environment to protect them from hurting themselves
  • Not become overwhelmed while caring for them
  • Deal with a crisis should one arise
  • Have critical discussions with your parents
  • Deal with parents who refuse getting paid assisted help at home.  

Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging

If you dealt with caring for an aging parent or you are going through it, this book will be perfect for giving you the solace you need to keep going. It can be a challenge to care for them, especially if you don’t understand the needs and conditions that come with being old.

This amazing book, Holding the Net, provides a full practical guide on how to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to deal with health decisions, rehab, living arrangements, and so much more. It encourages you and advises from experts on how to handle and manage every situation.

Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

This book is designed to give the best advice to caregivers and potential caregivers who are faced with the reality of caring for their elderly family. It guides you on how to care for your loved one amidst the challenging pressure you are facing. There is valuable information on critical topics you will need to guide to guide you along the way.

The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents

Caring for your elderly parents is stressful, hard, and challenging, and it is a season of your life that will never be normal and will forever change your life. The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents details every practical advice you will need to cope and handle the situation at hand.

Dementia or Alzheimer’s?: A Daughter’s Guide to Home Care from the Early Signs and Onset of Dementia through the Various Alzheimer Stages

While there are many suggestions and references for others to use, the book never falls into a dull recounting of lists of books or items to pursue. Instead, as Ms. Gail recounts her memories, she shares the helpful things she found that aided her mother during what can be a difficult time for everyone.

This loving memoir is a touching reminder to all of us that even though it can be painful watching a loved one go through this difficult time, there are rewards in helping them in whatever way we are able.

Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed: A Guide to Coping with Difficult, Narcissistic Parents and Grandparents

This book provides you with awareness on how to deal with your parent’s self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes as they get older. It shows you how to develop strategies in dealing with your parents based on the current situations you face while caring for them. Also, it shows you how to set limits with your parents for you to remain focus and sane during the process.

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope)

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope) gives you a chance to live and maintain stability while you care for your elderly parents. It has a spiritual guide to it in terms of caring for your parents in a way that is pleasing to God and at least shows honor to them amidst the possible stress they are causing. You will maintain dignity and sanity with the guidelines presented in this book, and, of course, they are easy to implement.

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Helping Seniors With Pets Pros and Cons

Giving an elderly person, the gift of a pet is a thoughtful act. Consider what kind of pet would suit the older person and any extra work for the caregiver. Helping Seniors With Pets can be beneficial and difficult at the same time.

A pet makes a great companion for a senior. A dog or cat offers comfort for an older adult during times of isolation and loneliness. Pets have therapeutic value for the elderly; in fact, interacting with a beloved pet can lower blood pressure and ease stress.

Buying A Pet For An Elderly Person Means Extra Caregiver Duties

But pets also generate extra work for caregivers, and they’re an added expense in the household. Pets need daily grooming. Some pets need baths and regular visits to the vet. A dog or cat can be costly with food and vaccinations.

An Elderly Person Who Cares for a Pet

The most low-maintenance dog or cat still needs care and attention. An aquarium can provide hours of enjoyment, but fish need to be fed, and the tank needs to be cleaned periodically.

As a loved one grows older, caring for an animal may become an overwhelming task. Forgetting to feed and water a pet is only the beginning for the elder who can’t provide adequate attention to the animal.

What to do with elderly parents pets?

There are other points to consider when an older person becomes responsible for a pet. Aging naturally affects hearing and vision in the older pet owner. Small energetic dogs can cause dangerous falls to an older adult who can’t see well. A cat can also cause falls, and cat litter boxes must be kept clean.

Birds may be too difficult for a senior to care for. Bird droppings left to dry can turn to dust and contaminate the air – and could even cause respiratory problems for humans.

Home health aides, visiting social workers, and therapists often make home visits and record information about the elder’s living environment. These professionals are obligated to record and report such problems as foul odors in the home, pet droppings, and unclean animals that appear neglected.

Check out the top 10 dog breeds that are the best for Seniors

Helping Seniors with Pets Makes Added Work for a Caregiver

The relative who is a home caregiver to an elderly parent or other senior family member has a full schedule already. Adding pet care to a caregiver’s workload may not be the fair thing to do.

Dogs need to be walked, and other animals require at least some maintenance. The caregiver also takes on the chore of scheduling vet visits and providing any specialized care the animal needs.

In contrast, a pet’s safety could be jeopardized if the elderly loved one has behavior issues brought on by age or illness. Elderly persons with dementia can sometimes be combative when provoked. A frightened pet may bite, scratch, or cause injury to both the older adult and the caregiver who tries to intervene. Helping Seniors With Pets is important.

Should a 70 year old get a puppy?

Think Before Choosing a Pet for an Elderly Person

The expense, respiratory problems, possible injuries, and cleanup are just a few issues that have to be taken into account when contemplating the best pet for an aging senior.

A large dog may prevent home break-ins, but such a pet needs a spacious yard for running. At the very least, a large dog would create a significant expense in food. A small dog eats less, but could easily trip the owner and cause serious injury.

While a cat might appear to be the right pet choice for an elderly person, one has to consider vet bills, food, grooming, and daily cleaning of the cat litter box.

Consult with the older adult’s caregiver before deciding on a pet. The senior may have allergies or some medical reason that prevents him or her from direct contact with animals.

Many seniors who live alone are on fixed incomes and cannot afford pet expenses. Still, other elders don’t want to be bothered by the care and upkeep that comes with pet ownership.

An older dog or cat may suit an older person. Kittens and puppies love to play and chew on things – not a very practical pet choice for an older person who doesn’t move fast or can’t see well.

Caged animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs are fun to watch, but these pets are rather high-strung and don’t care to be handled much. Think before making a pet choice for an elderly person. While some pets can provide comfort and companionship, it’s always best to consult with the caregiver or older adult first to make the most appropriate decision.

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Helping Seniors With Pets Pros and Cons

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