When you visit Mom or Dad over Thanksgiving check out their health in relationship to their home .A common push to relocate is often related to health challenges from chronic or sudden changes in health status .
An example of a health “push” is a decrease in visual acuity. Perhaps the older person’s vision declines to the point that he or she can no longer prepare meals safely. In this case, if other nutrition options are not readily available, relocation may be the ultimate outcome.
Another health push arises when the lack of fit between the older adult and his or her environment begins to limit independence. A fall is a classic example of a triggering event that may force a relocation. A broken hip or the fear of negotiating steps will often lead seniors to living environments that are friendlier and more compatible with their new physical limitations. Stairs, the lack of a bathroom on the main floor, multiple steps from the street to the entry and more suddenly turn the family home into an environment of concern. Take a look at all of this when you visit parents over the holidays
Home modification has emerged as a vital resource to enable children, adults, and older adults who have mobility problems to remain in their homes. Without such modifications, these individuals face the difficult choice of moving to a facility or remaining in unsafe, unsupportive environments, which do not facilitate independence or an active and participatory lifestyle.
Both declining vision and limited mobility are health exigencies that may prompt thoughts of moving. The desire to feel safe and the ability to navigate the environment safely often play critical roles in the decision to leave the current home.
So if you are a long distance care providers, really look at all these factors when you visit over Thanksgiving and consider if you want to think of suggesting a move to an aging parent or making home modifications and let them age in place.