When we think of safety for our elderly parents who are aging in place, we usually think in terms of falling accidents, break-in safety, and memory issue dangers including getting lost even in their own neighborhood because they can't remember how to get home. Those are all vital concerns and a big reason my own senior mom wears an "alert pendant" that notifies a monitoring agency if she falls, or if she calls for help.
I highly recommend those alarm pendants! There are several good companies available to pick from. Of course, just as with anything else, be sure to do your due diligence – call or check online the BBB (Better Business Bureau), ask friends and relatives for recommendations, research them online, etc. I recently found out that a familiar-to-me alarm company also offers medical alerts which was NEW info to me. Bay Alarm Medical even offers the "fall alert" that I think can be very valuable.
DEHYDRATION IN ELDERLY SENIORS
I made this discovery about Bay Alarm Medical when they contacted me and told me about their fun summer propmotion focusing on a totally different safety issue for our senior parents. Dehydration. I've written about that before at SandwichINK but it's definitely one of those issues we need to be reminded of each summer!
I've noticed that two of the sweet seniors in my life both need to be reminded periodically to drink more water. With one, I can tell when she really needs water! She starts talking and her words sound funky – like her tongue is not cooperating. I finally realized that is how she sounds after a surgery or other procedure that requires little or no water for a prolonged period due to the medication. And it really concerns me that she can start sounding like that fairly quickly, which tells me her water needs are getting stronger. Which, as it turns out, its quite normal for many elderly adults.
Even with a cool house, thanks to air conditioning, we need to make sure our aging seniors are still drinking lots of water. My senior mom and I love to walk when she feels up to it. Because of summer heat, we've been going out in the early evening, usually after the sun is down. Thanks to the delta breezes in Roseville CA, it's usually very nice temperatures. Even then, she can get a bit thirsty on the walk so we usually take a water bottle for her. She rarely drinks it, but occasionally we've been really glad we had it!
MONITORING OUR ELDERLY PARENTS FOR THEIR AGING IN PLACE SAFETY
I read an interesting, albeit technical, article on dehydration and the elderly at the NIH and basicall it seems to be that as our loved ones age, their body doesn't work as well so they need water more but tend to drink it less. Thus we definitely need to keep our eyes open for signs they aren't getting enough water. And keep plenty of water handy for them to drink at a temperature they prefer. Some days my senior mom loves water from the fridge so we always have bottles or water pitchers chilling there. Other times, she hates it. So then it's tap water all the way. She keeps plastic water bottles by her constantly. But I still have to check. Even though they are there, she still may not remember to drink as often as she should.
Bottom line, lots of prayer – monitoring – and encouraging to keep drinking. And again, I'm really glad she has her alert pendant around her neck. It's my backup to all my other backups for both my beloved seniors to help them stay safe while aging in place in their own homes!
P.S. Bay Alarm Medical has a fun offer for us! Leave a comment below with your suggestions, thoughts and tips on this topic. The first 4 commenters will get a free water bottle similar to the ones in the photos above mailed to them by Bay Alarm Medical by the end of August. (I'll email you for your address so it's not online 🙂 ) This water bottle is a Clean Bottle, BPA free, and unscrews at both ends so no chance of mold! Very cool! Mega thanks to Bay Alarm Medical for this fun idea AND for the great reminder to make sure all our beloved elderly, who are aging in place in their own home or with family, are getting plenty of water to drink during the hot summer and throughout the year!