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How to Care for Aging Parents Who Live Independently

October 24, 2012

Of the many care giving challenges faced by adult children of aging parents, a major one is this:
What will it take to enable mom and dad to continue living independently at home? 

Caring for agina parents living independentlyCaring for parents who want to remain at home – despite advancing age, mobility struggles and/or the possibility of needing a manual or motorized wheelchair – requires substantial commitment from family caregivers.

The Daily Living Needs Assessment questions, provided below, may be of some help. Hopefully, the answers will assist in finding the right solutions, making the best decisions and planning appropriately to ensure safety and comfort for older, independently-living parents.

Assessing the Daily Care Needs of Aging Parents

1. Can they  live competently and safely on their own?

  • Are there problems with seeing, hearing, memory, driving, or walking?
  • Can they move securely and easily at home, with few obstructions?
  • Is there a medical need for personal mobility assistance  in the home?1
  • If a cane, walker, manual wheelchair or power scooter  proves inadequate for meeting their mobility needs at home, could a power chair be a more reasonable solution?2

2. Which mobility-related acts of daily living (MRADLs) require necessary assistance?

  • Bathing/toileting
  • Dressing/grooming
  • Shopping/cooking/housecleaning/laundry
  • Driving to and from appointments and/or using public transportation 

3. Are any environmental changes or accessibility modifications needed for safety?

  • Wheelchair ramps help with assessibilityIs the neighborhood safe for elderly people to live independently at home?
  • Are there alerts in place for security, fire/smoke and personal medical emergencies?
  • Are any major repairs or upgrades needed (roof, plumbing, wiring, appliances)?
  • Is the home modified for safety and power wheelchair accessibility? (e.g., better lighting, non-slip surfaces, grab bars, lowered switches and knobs, wider doorways, accessible wheelchair ramps)?

The role of caregiver is one of continual discovery and adaptation. Assessing and preparing for a parent’s changing needs is a crucial step in the journey.

Contact Hoveround at 1-800-542-7236 for information on personal mobility vehicles or other accessories that may help to resolve mobility deficits in and around the home.

 

1A face-to-face mobility examination in a doctor's office is mandated to determine the medical necessity of a personal mobility assistive device, such as a power wheelchair, for assistance with resolving mobility limitations. For detailed requirements, please visit Power Wheelchair Coverage Guidelines
2A qualified clinician must properly complete a mobility examination and submit precise, required documentation to support the need for a power wheelchair over any other mobility assistive device. To learn more, please see Patient Mobility Needs

This article is for informational purposes only and not as  a substitute for professional medical advice.  All information is general in nature and may not necessarily apply to everyone and every situation.

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