How caregivers can help their elderly parents stay safe

Grown children of older adults are often concerned about their parents' safety. Whether it's being apprehensive about them living alone or worries over falls and injuries, it can be difficult for family caregivers to have peace of mind when it comes to their loved ones' well-being. Although there are undoubtedly challenges to caring for an elderly parent, there are some steps family caregivers can take to ensure that their loved ones are safe and healthy. 

Pay attention to medication
Many seniors are taking more than one kind of medication, so it can certainly be difficult to keep track, especially if they are prescribed by multiple doctors. To start with, caregivers may want to make use of the many smartphone and tablet apps that can help seniors take the right prescriptions at the right time. Medcoach Medication Reminder and iPharmacy are two of the most popular. ABC News also stresses the importance of going to doctors visits with elderly parents to make sure they are not being over-prescribed medications for allergies, depression or pain.

Focus on falls
It makes sense for caregivers to be concerned about their parents falling – these incidents are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization and death among adults 65 and older. Luckily, there are a variety of ways adult children can increases the chances their parents stay on their feet. According to the Mayo Clinic, encouraging physical activity is one of the best methods available. Walking, aqua aerobics and even tai chi can help seniors improve their balance and strength – both of which are critical to avoiding falls. 

Consider living arrangements
Although some seniors can live safely in their homes, sometimes assisted living residences are the best option. Aside from providing older adults with a living environment that offers everything from social engagement to plenty of opportunities for exercise, assisted living is also ideal for seniors who may need some help around the home, while still not requiring 24-hour care. Retirement residences are also often arranged in a way that makes it easy for older adults to get around. With features such as grab bars, better lighting, open floor planning and no-slip rugs, assisted living facilities can also reduce the risk of falls.