A Guide to Making their Visit Memorable and Accident-Free
Having your elderly parent’s visit can be an exciting and enjoyable time. Whether it’s for a special occasion, or just because they can, inviting them to your home can foster the creation of wonderful memories. Not preparing ahead of time for their visit, especially if they are elderly can cause unnecessary stress, not only for you, but for them as well. For a safe and memorable visit, it is important to prepare your home accordingly. These few adjustments take the unneeded stress out of the exciting time you can have together with your loved ones during their visit.
It is a given that as we get older, our bodies start to deteriorate, making us more susceptible to injury and illness. Elderly persons can sometimes find that the easiest of tasks are challenging and so it is your job to ensure that when your elderly parents visit, that you are accommodating to their needs. Taking into consideration that your elderly parents may have different comfort and mobility levels, making small adjustments to your home before they visit can greatly improve the quality of their stay.
For elderly parents, having an even outside surface to walk on can make the world of difference to mobility. Clear all pathways around the house and make sure that any cracks in pathways are fixed or easy to see to avoid potential tripping. The last thing you would want is to see is your parents injure themselves because they tripped and fell on a branch or stick lying on your front path. It would certainly put a damper on their visit and on your day.
Inside the Home
You want your elderly parents to feel ‘at home’ while they visit. It is important to create a family orientated aesthetic throughout your home. This can be as simple as presenting a clean and tidy home or buying a scented candle to make your house smell nice. Ensure there is tissues in the bathroom or offer handkerchiefs. Remember that your elderly parents want to enjoy their visit as much as you want them to. They want to feel welcome in your home. It is the thought and the little gestures that count towards making it a positive experience for them.
If your elderly parents are staying for a period; maybe a few nights, it is important to make appropriate sleeping arrangements for them to ensure that they are comfortable while they stay in your home. Choosing a suitable bedroom is going to be key to them having a memorable experience. If you have multiple spare rooms, choose one that is within proximity to shared spaces such as the bathroom, living areas and the kitchen for ease of access. Ensure that the bed has clean sheets and spare pillows and blankets are available to grab if they are required, as the elderly are more predisposed to colder weather conditions.
Decluttering the inside of your home before your elderly parents’ visit can reduce the risk of unnecessary injuries and breakages. Removing trip hazards such as rugs, mats and power cords can stop falls. If they cannot be removed, ensure they are secured with non-slip materials or tucked away behind your electronics. Remove any clutter and decorations from high traffic areas such as entry and hallways to avoid breakages. Remember that your elderly parents may not be as steady on their feet as you are, and you need to be able to accommodate this.
Eating In or Eating Out?
Depending on the reason for your elderly parents visit, what and where you eat may need some addition consideration. During the festive seasons, it is common for families to enjoy a customary home cooked meal. Whether this is a strict expectation or more of a casual gathering, preparing ahead of time can lead to a less stressful experience. Your elderly parents may have certain dietary requirements that need addressing and it is your responsibility to make sure that they are catered for. Home cooking while your parents are visiting can become a good bonding experience and it may be a good time for your elderly parents to teach you some old family recipes or tips of the trade in the kitchen.
If you are making the decision to dine out while your elderly parents are visiting, consider the restaurant options available and whether they are suitable. This may include phoning ahead of time when you make a reservation to ensure that they cater for any dietary requirements or to check the layout of the restaurant for accessibility, if your elderly parents have wheelchairs or assistive walking aids.
Overall, having your elderly parents in your home can be a wonderful experience. It’s important to make them feel included and welcome in your home as is with any visitor. Planning and being adequately prepared means that you can enjoy the time with your elderly parents and makes for a memorable and accident-free visit.
There are numerous services where you can gather further information about supporting your elderly parents during their stay. This includes in home care support and information to guide you in making your elderly parents more comfortable in your home.
For further information see the ConnectAbility Australia website;