Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

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Elder Safety: 4 Everyday Tasks Grandparents Might Need Help With

The aging process can make it difficult for senior citizens to care for their homes and do outside activities. While it might seem simple to rake the leaves or run a load of laundry, these tasks can be difficult for elderly grandparents. Consider these four ways that you could help your grandparents with everyday tasks.

Doing the Laundry

Doing the laundry can become difficult for your grandparents. This is especially true if the washing machine is in the basement of the home. Arthritis in the hands and shoulders could cause difficulty with turning the knobs on the washing machine, adding the detergent, folding the clothes and putting them away. Consider helping your grandparents with their laundry or setting up a maid service to handle their laundry and routine house cleaning needs.

Avoiding Slip-and-fall Accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents are a common cause of injuries in the elderly. Poor vision and a reduced sense of balance increase your grandparents’ risk of falling. Older people may also have thinning bones, which puts them at a higher risk of a fracture if they do fall. To help your grandparents avoid slip-and-fall accidents, make sure that stairs, hallways and floors are clear of clutter. Install hand rails for stairs.

Going Grocery Shopping

As your grandparents age, driving could become challenging. Vision and reaction times change, which could result in a safety issue while on the road. Your grandparents could benefit from you taking them to the store to do their shopping and other errands. Grandparents might also need some help reaching onto the top shelves for items and with loading and unloading the shopping cart.

Caring for the Lawn and Sidewalk

If your grandparent lives in a place that gets icy or snowy winters, he or she may need help with shoveling and spreading ice melt on the slippery spots. During the warmer months of the year, grandparents often need assistance with lawn care such as pulling weeds, mowing the grass, picking up sticks and trimming shrubs. Your grandparents might also need some help with sweeping the porch or planting annual flowers.

If you are unsure of how to help your grandparents, just ask. Some older people might not want to admit that they need help, so you might need to spend some time watching your grandparents doing household chores and see where they struggle the most. Graciously offer your assistance and think of it as a way of helping your grandparents to maintain their independence.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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