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Can My Senior Parent Live Alone?

You and Your Aging Parents
Can my senior parent live alone?

This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org

How do I determine if my loved one should continue to live at home?

Determining if a senior can continue to live at home must be decided on a case-by-case basis factoring in the physical, mental and emotional health of the individual and how safe it is for the senior to live independently. For seniors with more serious medical conditions, home health care provides clinical care during recovery from an acute illness or while coping with a chronic illness or disability that limits mobility. Clinical care specialists can also evaluate your loved one’s home and recommend adaptive equipment or environmental changes that promote safety. 

When support is required to feel safe at home managing daily tasks, private care services can offer a wide range of support from cleaning and laundry to bathing, dressing, errands/shopping, meal  preparation, mobility assistance, medication management and companionship. Private care can also be combined with home health care to provide a comprehensive combination of services that cover the complete spectrum of medical, personal care and homemaking needs.

Continuing to care for a senior at home may no longer be safe when physical and/or mental challenges cannot be overcome or managed effectively with either home health care or private care services.  Being observant of the home situation and maintaining constant communication with the home care provider will help determine if the situation is no longer an effective solution.  Consulting your medical professional on what you observe and what home health care reports can also help you anticipate the need for a change before a more serious event occurs.

To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.

Patricia O’Brien's picture

About the Blogger

MBA, MS, RN, Executive Director, Hebrew SeniorLife Home Health

Patricia previously oversaw Hebrew SeniorLife home health services for thousands of seniors, including skilled nursing, therapies, medical social work, home safety evaluation, and home health aide throughout greater Boston and the South Shore.

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