The basics of caring for an older parent

Kevin Magna

October 7, 2010

The parents of many baby boomers have moved in with their children or require frequent drop-ins due to deteriorating health, leaving many boomers feeling lost and unprepared. While caring for an elderly parent isn't an exact science, there are some basic tips that every caretaker should remember, according to

First, it is important to observe a parent's schedule and understand how he or she spends the day. This can give you a feel for how independent a parent is, and how much supervision they may require.

If a parent is living alone, make sure to look at their refrigerator – this can give you a quick glimpse at their daily meals and dietary habits. This can also make it easier to figure out the general state of an older adult's health.

The news source also reports that adult children should modify a senior's residence so that there is little chance of a fall. Remove obstacles in the home and install helpful grab bars in bathrooms and stairs.

Falls are a leading cause of fatality among senior citizens, particularly those who are living alone and have no way to get help. Using a medical alert system in a home can give older adults a way of immediately alerting caretakers in the case of an emergency.

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