Florida seniors and their adult children frequently ask me how the elder can stay in the family home. I understand this desire. I want my clients to be able to age-in-place for as long as possible. We must plan, however, for a time when you may be unable to do so safely.
Aging-in-place is the concept of living in our homes well into advanced age. This can be a reality for you when you prepare in advance. This preparation includes managing your finances and making your elder care choices as soon as possible with an elder care attorney. It also includes preparing your home to support you as you age.
Are you an elder who lives at home alone? Are you scared of falling and hurting yourself when you walk around your house or take a shower? These are reasonable fears to have, and there are steps you can take to prevent these fears from becoming reality. I will share our five tips for how to make your home more aging-in-place appropriate.
1. Put handrails around your house. These handrails should be installed next to stairs, in the shower, and near step-downs. Handrails can be installed by you or a contractor, and are easy to use. To get started, evaluate your home to determine where you believe you are the most at risk for potentially tripping or falling.
2. Put a seat in your shower. One of the most frequent ways seniors fall is when they are in the shower and slip on the wet floor. If you have a seat to sit on while you are bathing this hazard may be avoided.
3. Invest in a moving chair. If you have a large staircase in your home and feel unsafe walking up the stairs, invest in a moving chair that is built into the wall. Once installed, you will be able to sit in this chair as it moves you up or down the staircase. Consider a moving chair that includes the options of a guardrail and a seatbelt.
4. Add light where you need it. Research shows us that when it is hard to see you are much more vulnerable to tripping and falling. Add light to all areas of your home that get dark at night or have shadows during the day. Consider investing in a motion sensor option. This option means the light will automatically turn on.
5. Install cabinets within your reach. Instead of placing your supplies in tall or hard-to-reach overhead cupboards, utilize cabinets that you are able to easily access. This may require reorganization of your kitchen, your bathroom or your supply cabinet, but it is worth the effort. You want to avoid any instance where you could lose your balance and injure yourself in a fall.
When we want to age-in-place, it is crucial that we make adjustments to our homes. Modifications like these can help you remain safe for a longer period of time. Remember that making modifications are only part of the puzzle. Do not wait to contact my firm to talk about your elder care planning needs.
As our parents age, a time may come when they are no longer able to live safely at home. Whether due to a crisis or as a complication arising from the aging process, their needs may increase to a care level where they need 24-hour assistance. This level of long-term care is not only expensive but is often best provided inside of a Florida skilled nursing facility.
Placing a parent or helping a parent select a nursing home is not an easy task. How will you choose the right facility for your parent? What should you look for? What should you avoid? How will you be able to monitor the care to make sure it is what your parent requires? How will you be able to afford it?
We help families with these questions every day and we can assist you. We want to share with you our top three tips that we share with our clients and professional advisors when they are seeking Florida elder care help.
Tip 1: Start off by making a list with your requirements.
What do you and your parent require from the Florida skilled nursing facility? Does the nursing home need to be a certain distance from you or your siblings? Does your parent require any specialty care? Is the nursing home equipped to meet specific care needs? How often are elder care conferences held? Before you go on a tour or sign a contract, make a list of your needs and make sure the facility is able to meet them.
Tip 2: Do your research.
Research can show you facilities that are in your parent’s home town and give you an idea of the services each skilled nursing facility provides to residents. Don’t hesitate to search for references from friends and family or to ask your elder care attorney for recommendations. Getting educated on your options and knowing what to expect can help you and your elderly parent with this transition.
Tip 3: Take tours of the skilled nursing facilities you select.
Narrow down your list from your research and visit each nursing home. Taking a tour of potential skilled nursing facilities can help you better understand and evaluate where your parent could be living. While on your tour, be sure to eat a meal and pay attention to how the staff interacts with the residents. Sitting in on a group activity can also allow you to have a better idea of the structure of the nursing home. Is it more of a family setting? Are residents stimulated? Are the levels of care represented similar to what your parent needs?
Don’t wait to get the help you need. This means communicating with all of your loved ones who will be involved in this process and working with a knowledgeable elder care law attorney. We work with our Florida seniors and their children to find solutions that provide excellent elder care at a cost the family is able to afford. While at first this may seem to be an insurmountable task, we are more than qualified, ready and able to assist you. Call us at (877) 977 – ELDER or contact us through our website to discuss the planning you need.
Many of our clients and their families ask, “What are the potential signs that my parent may need an in-home caregiver?” There may come a time when your parent is no longer able to live alone, but how will you know? The short answer is through observation and interaction. The following are key warning signs you should always be on the lookout for.
Many people think that age is the main factor when deciding whether or not they should get an in-home caregiver for their parent. While this is not entirely false, there are additional, important factors to look for in your parent, in addition to age. We will address those critical indicators.
1. Poor or limited mobility.
If your parent is no longer physically able to get around, or needs assistance when doing so, this is a sign that he or she may need someone in the house to help out. Mobility issues can lead your parent to be more vulnerable to tripping or falling which can lead to a detrimental injury.
2. Decline in hygiene.
Has your parent always been meticulous about his or her appearance? A noticeable change could indicate a decline in ability. Does your parent now need help with getting a bath and cleaning him or herself? Although your parent may be resistant, get help. Without this assistance, your parent could end up with an infection or illness from poor hygiene.
3. Signs of forgetfulness.
If your parent is developing symptoms of forgetfulness or irritation, you may need to be more vigilant in your oversight than usual. These symptoms can be precursors to more critical illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or medication issues. With these symptoms your parent could unknowingly place him or herself in harm’s way.
4. Inability to perform activities of daily living.
If your parent begins to exhibit an inability to perform daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, or paying bills, then they may need someone that can provide this assistance. There are certain responsibilities that cannot go unchecked or a serious issue could result; a caregiver or homemaker service may be able to provide this extra help that your parent needs.
These are just a few of the signs that you should be aware of when deciding whether your parent may be able to continue to live alone. We are here to help you and your family navigate these challenges and provide the elder care law guidance you need. Does this article raise even more questions for you? We are here to answer them for you. Call us at (877) 977 – ELDER (3533) or contact us through our website to schedule an appointment with Attorney Scott Selis.