Living Independently in Houston Takes Planning

March 22, 2011


One of the greatest desires expressed by seniors is a desire to live independently.  Helping our senior parents live an independent lifestyle takes coordination, planning, and effort on our part.  And, the best part of that plan includes a steady stream of open and honest communication with our parents.

Many times we may have concerns or questions about our parents’ abilities to maintain their  lifestyles. 

Once we make an assessment of concerns, it’s best to address these concerns in a thoughtful and upfront approach with our parents — while stressing our desire to help our parents continue living the lifestyle of their choice.

Where do we begin?

  • Having an open and honest conversation with our parents.  If possible, include others in the conversation that will support your parents’ decisions and help you meet your objective.   
  • Prepare notes or create a list of topics.  These guidelines will help you remain on topic and the list can be left behind after the discussion.
  • Encourage a doctor’s visit.  If you feel that your parent may be showing signs of weight loss or other physical issues, encourage scheduling a doctor’s appointment.
  • After the medical appointment, encourage follow up.  Were new medications prescribed and are they being taken regularly?  Do therapies need to be scheduled or other follow up appointments or tests?
  • Investigate safety issues.  Do grab bars or railings need to be installed?  Should additional lighting be in place?  Are trip hazards, such as throw rugs, a concern?
  • Is driving a concern?  Would it be helpful to encourage part-time assistance in the home with tasks such as errands or housekeeping?  Should home-delivered meals be established through a local agency?

All of these topics may be hard discussions to have with your parent and it’s important to remember that conversations may need to occur over a period of time or repeated in a different format.  But most importantly of all, please remember to approach your parent in a loving, dignified and respectful manner.

In most cases, our parents have expressed a desire to live independently and it’s our hope that we can help them achieve that goal while assuring their safety and dignity.

If you would like to view some additional ideas on conversation starters, please view our final video in the 4-part video series, “Taking Action: Where to Seek Help for Your Senior”.

Another excellent location for additional resources is  your local Harris County Area Agency on Aging.

If you have tips on handling difficult conversations with your parents, please join our forum below.

SourcedFrom Sourced from: Home Instead Content Library

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11201 Richmond Ave # 110 Houston, TX 77082-2670 Call 832.379.4700 for at home senior care you can trust.