1. Ask what they want to eat. Don't just serve whatever you feel like serving.
2. Ask how they feel. Listen to them complain about their aches and pains. Let them complain all they want. You don't need to cure them. You just need to listen.
3. Play games with them. Card games, dice games, board games... keep them thinking!
4. Give them rides on nice days. Ask them where they would like to go.
5. Give them their own space as much as possible. Give them their own room with a TV, phone, etc. If you can't do that, at least make sure they have a chair that belongs to them and only them and put it near a window with a little table, whatever. Just give them some space that is their own.
6. Offer to read to them. Or get them some books on tape. Or let them listen to the radio. Or get your kids to sing to them.
7. Ask for their advice! They love knowing that you care about their opinion. Ask for their advice and listen to what they say! They are usually right!
8. Ask them to do things for you. For example, folding the laundry.
9. Laugh with them when they laugh. Cry with them when they cry. And when you get mad (and I promise you will) let it all out. They can take it... they won't break! They will always forgive you for blowing off steam (blowing off steam is okay, abuse is never okay).
10. Tell them you love them every day. Tell them you appreciate them every day. Tell they they are a joy to have in your life every day. Tell them you are lucky to be the one to care for them every day. You never know when it will be your last day to tell them these things.
Use a walker or cane for added stability. Look carefully at floor surfaces in public buildings. Many floors are made of highly polished marble or tile that can be very slippery.
3. Use a shoulder bag or backpack to leave hands free.
4. Stop at curbs and check their height before stepping up or down. Be cautious at curbs that have been cut away to allow access for bikes or wheelchairs. The incline up or down may lead to a fall.
Indoor Safety Tips
1. Keep all rooms free from clutter, especially the floors.
2. Keep floor surfaces smooth but not slippery. When entering rooms, be aware of differences in floor levels and thresholds.
3. Wear supportive, low-heeled shoes, even at home. Avoid walking around in socks, stockings, or floppy, backless slippers.
4. Check that all carpets and area rugs have skid-proof backing or are tacked to the floor, including carpeting on stairs.
5. Keep electrical and telephone cords and wires out of walkways.
6. Be sure that all stairwells are adequately lit and that stairs have handrails on both sides. Consider placing fluorescent tape on the edges of the top and bottom steps.
7. Install grab bars on bathroom walls beside tubs, showers, and toilets. If you are unstable on your feet, consider using a plastic chair with a back and nonskid leg tips in the shower.
8. Use a rubber bath mat in the shower or tub.
1. Don't let prescriptions run low. Always keep at least 1 week's worth of medications on hand at home. 2. Arrange with a family member or friend for daily contact. Try to have at least one person who knows where the elderly person is at all times.
Does your body lean or sway back and forth or side to side? People with decreased ability to balance often have a high degree of body sway and are more likely to fall.