Watching our parents or relatives grow old is tough. Watching them lose their physical abilities and mental sharpness can take an emotional toll, and can be even more trying for them. The best we can do is create as comfortable and safe an environment as we can to make them feel more at ease. The first thing to do is put yourself in their shoes and take a look around for what you might need if you were in that situation. Of course, you would not experience the same aches, pains or stiffness they do but you can surely empathize. Avoiding clutter, getting furniture out of the way and installing bathroom rails are some ways to get started.
A good place to start is the bedroom, since this is the room where your parent likely spends the most time in.
Often, at night, people are tired and sleepy. In the mornings, they are disoriented and clumsy. Even more so for people above 70. A bedroom is supposed to be a place of rest and relaxation, but it can quickly turn into a hazardous space if not customized for seniors. Apart from finding an ideal location, hopefully not all the way up the stairs, there are certain things you can equip your room with for a better experience.
Here are our top five recommendations to have in the bedroom to help them relax faster and be safer.
A Medium-Firm Mattress
People over the age of 70 often find themselves tired, moody and disoriented, sometimes due to sleep deprivation, and other times due to a variety of other reasons including anxiety, health issues, and even medication. Unfortunately, the risk of sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome also increases with age.
As the number of aches, pains and problems grow, so do the sleep requirements. Often, a good mattress that provides enough support can help alleviate the stress from various pressure points. In fact, a study done by the NCBI saw that a medium-firm mattress reduced back discomfort, ncreased the quality of sleep and diminished symptoms of stress and anxiety. Be sure to look for one that is breathable and keeps them feeling cool.
Customizable Memory Foam Pillows
A sore neck is a common occurrence for those over 70. In fact, it is so regular they get used to it. Unfortunately, a sore neck can be due to a variety of factors like arthritis, discogenic disorders, trauma, spinal stenosis and so on. It could also be from a comparatively trivial reason like bad sleep posture.
A good thing to have handy is a customizable memory foam pillow. Not only do memory foam pillows cradle your neck and contour to the shape of your spine, but they also provides the support needed to wake up pain-free. Customizable memory foam pillows from Nectar allows you to remove stuffing to suit the height to your personal preference. A pillow like that can go a long way to helping you sleep better as well.
Safety Rails for the Adjustable Beds
The zero-gravity sleeping position was first devised by NASA to reduce the pressure felt by austronauts during lift-off and landing. This position is one that stabilizes and supports the body, prevents back and neck pain, alleviates disc pressures and improves circulation. The position is best achieved by the use of adjustable beds from Dream Cloud that allow you to curve the bed in a way that the head and the leg is lifted.
These beds also come with built-in massagers that are controlled by a remote. The massage component relieves tension in the back and helps the sleeper relax faster. With the innovative technology, seniors can sleep faster, eliminate aches and pains and also feel younger than ever before. For safety purposes, be sure to attach a bed railing to make getting in and out of bed easier and safer. A rail also prevents rolling off the bed while sleeping. These safety handles can be used for more than one purpose and are an essential item in the bedroom to prevent injuries.
This might sound like a bit of a stretch, but it is an important element to have in a senior’s bedroom. It happens too often that their back gives way or their hip becomes too stiff to move. In these cases, having a bedside phone with which they can call for help is a lifesaver. Instead of splurging for a smartphone, install one that they are comfortable using.
The best place to keep a bedroom phone would be right on the nightstand next to the bed. To ensure it is at the right distance, be there while they try using it for the first time. Tape a list of emergency contacts above the phone right where they can see it. The emergency contacts would include emergency services and family members.
While we never see them coming, the dreaded nasty falls are often right around the corner when we least expect it. One out of three adults aged 65 and above fall each year. What if there is no one around when this happens? What if they need help? Use of PERS or Personal Emergency Response Systems can help call medical systems at the press of a button. With features like two-way communication, GPS capabilities, and automatic fall detection, medical alert systems are very important for every filter to have.
To prevent falls, make sure the bedroom floor is covered with slip-resistant material. The best thing to add is rugs. Not only do they keep the place warm and cozy, but they can also prevent your loved one from slipping. If an accident does occur, rugs often provide a softer landing than hard floors do.
Caring for an elderly family member is a rewarding journey, especially when you remember that you were on the receiving of the care from that every member just a few decades ago. Comfort and safety are two important elements one must keep in mind while creating a secure environment for them. Creating such an environment starts with understanding and predicting their needs, and providing them in advance with the things they might need when you aren’t around.
There are also companies that deliver comfort to your doorstep. You can have your parent’s food, clothing, everyday essentials, and other items delivered to her door. This allows you to care for your parent even while you are at work. Private nurses are also available on request to ensure that your parent is well looked after. The number of options for easy, convenient care is only growing.