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What are some practical tips for helping in older person prepare for changes ahead?

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Taking steps now can help your loved one better face the challenges that come with aging. Some things you might think about include:

  • Will the person be able to keep living in the house? Might the bathroom and other areas need to be altered? Would the person eventually need nursing care or move into an assisted living home?
  • Falls are a big risk. Look for things that someone could trip on, and remove them. Make sure that rugs have non-slip backing.
  • Check on the lighting. Do they need more, or brighter, lighting?
  • In the bathroom, install grab bars in and outside the tub or shower, and next to the toilet.
  • Stairs should have railings on both sides. You may also want to paint the top edge of steps a contrasting color (for instance, a white strip at the edge of a black step) and put non-slip tape on the steps.

Cathy Alessi, MD, internist, geriatrics specialist; past president, American Geriatrics Society.

AARP: "5 Surprising Truths About Grief."

American Hospice Foundation: "Helping a Grieving Parent."

Bisconti, T. , 2004. The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

The Kent Center for Human & Organizational Development: "Holmes Stress Point Scale."

Sara Honn Qualls, PhD, clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, director, Gerontology Center, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Western Region Geriatric Care Management: "Older Driver Safety Awareness."

Windsor, T. , September 2006. Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging

CDC: “Important Facts About Falls,” “Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 26, 2019

Cathy Alessi, MD, internist, geriatrics specialist; past president, American Geriatrics Society.

AARP: "5 Surprising Truths About Grief."

American Hospice Foundation: "Helping a Grieving Parent."

Bisconti, T. , 2004. The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

The Kent Center for Human & Organizational Development: "Holmes Stress Point Scale."

Sara Honn Qualls, PhD, clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, director, Gerontology Center, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Western Region Geriatric Care Management: "Older Driver Safety Awareness."

Windsor, T. , September 2006. Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging

CDC: “Important Facts About Falls,” “Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 26, 2019

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