Easy Ways to Improve Their Lives Using Community Resources and Healthcare Services
Grandparents are treasured family members, full of stories about their life and wisdom to share. When you’re young, you look forward to visiting their house on the weekends or for the summer, and there’s nothing quite like a hug from grandma or grandpa!
But as your grandparents age, they may begin to struggle with activities of daily living and begin suffering from health issues. If you want to help them – and many grandchildren do – there are easy ways you can get involved. Consider these six ways you can help keep your grandparents healthy.
Inquire About Private Duty Care or Home Health Services with a Home Care Provider
Your grandparent can maintain their independence and continue living at home for longer with the help of a professional caregiver to supplement your visits. Private duty caregivers can help prepare meals, perform light housekeeping, assist with hygiene and toileting, and keep your elderly loved one company throughout the day, ensuring their safety and wellbeing. If your grandparent has a newly diagnosed illness or was recently released from the hospital, they may be eligible for home health care services. Their physician will authorize and help to secure these services.
Sometimes, your grandparent’s Medicare health insurance will cover care; be sure to ask agencies you’re considering about which insurance policies they accept before signing up for services.
Sign Your Grandparent Up for Meals on Wheels If They Qualify
If your grandparent is having difficulty preparing their own meals or are struggling to make trips to the grocery store, you can help them. If your grandparent qualifies for Meals on Wheels in your area, help them sign up. Usually, the organization delivers simple prepared meals at cost each day, but some offer them for free or at a deep discount for homebound elderly on a fixed income.
If your area does not have Meals on Wheels, or if your grandparent doesn’t qualify, you can help them prepare delicious and nutritious meals yourself. You can visit your grandparent’s home and cook for them in their kitchen, then package individual meals in microwave-safe containers. Or, you can cook at home and bring the meals to your grandparent.
Help Your Grandparent Visit Their Doctors
As adults age, they tend to have more medical needs than before. As a result, they may have multiple appointments with doctors over the course of the year. You can help your grandparent stay healthy by driving them to their appointments or taking public transportation with them.
Some grandparents may even appreciate it if you attend the appointment with them to help them take notes and remember their physician’s advice. Of course, you should ask if they want you to assist them in this way.
Keep Your Grandparents Active
Gentle exercise and engaging activities can help your beloved grandparent stay healthier and happier. Chair yoga, balance exercises, and other low-impact activities can help their joints stay mobile and keep their muscles strong. Working on puzzles together, mending clothes, and taking care of the house are also great ways to interact with your grandparent.
Help Them Keep Their Home Clean
A clean environment reduces the risk of infection and other illnesses. You can help your grandparent stay healthy by helping them keep their living spaces clean. Adults of advanced age may have trouble operating a vacuum, scrubbing a bathtub, or lifting heavy dishes into cabinets after they’re washed.
Set aside one day every two weeks to visit their home to help them keep it clean. You may even want to invest in a robot vacuum cleaner or bathtub scrubbers on an extendable pole to make cleaning even easier during the weeks you can’t help out.
Repair Your Grandparent’s Home as Needed
Over time, even well cared for homes need repairs and refurbishment. Your grandparent may not be able to perform home maintenance tasks anymore, like fixing leaking faucets, replacing damaged shingles on the roof, or painting. Home maintenance keeps your grandparent’s home in good condition and stops dangerous mold growth or drafts before they start.
If you’re handy, or if you know other family members who are, you can coordinate a few days a year in which you all gather, help your grandparent maintain their home, and enjoy one another’s company. Should your grandparent eventually choose to sell their family home, your ongoing maintenance will have protected the home value.
Always Ask Before You Help
Remember that your grandparents are adults who want to feel independent and useful, even as they age. Respect their boundaries and their wishes by always asking permission to help them, especially if they are capable of many tasks on their own and aren’t suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Aging with dignity can be difficult; you should aim to make it more pleasant.