Care for Aging Parents

Ways to Honor and Help Your Parents

Prepare for Emergency

  • Keep a list of medications, any medical directives, and Power of Attorney copied and in a plastic bag and store on the fridge. Label the plastic bag "EMT" with a large red medical sign. Have close family members keep a copy of these items in their car in case of an emergency trip to the hospital.

  • Exchange phone numbers with the nearest neighbor. If a trusted neighbor, give them a key to the house. You may also consider placing a key inside a lockbox outside the home in case of emergencies. (Life Alert has their own system for this.)

  • If you decide to use an alert system, such as Life Alert, practice using the system with your parent(s). When the responder calls back, simply let them know you are practicing together.

Things to Think About

General Safety Tips

  • Keep medication in one area and easily accessible. There are medication boxes that have alarms and open when medications must be taken at specific times of the day and help with correct dosing.

  • If your parent(s) is using a walker, take it on a test run yourself to find out where the trouble spots are. Furniture and other items may need to be moved to make it easier to get around.

  • Some trash and recycling services offer a handicap sticker that you place on your bins, alerting the service men to take the empty bin back to the house instead of leaving at the curb.

  • If mail is delivered at the road, you may ask the mail carrier to drop it near the door. Or consider installing a locking mailbox to encourage retrieving the mail less often.