Posted on: 27 December 2017
Watching your parent get older can be challenging, especially when they have limited mobility and use a wheelchair. You want your parent to continue to experience independence and as much health as possible, but you may not always know how to help achieve this. Here are a few specific ways you can help your parent retain their independence and happiness while wheelchair-bound or otherwise experiencing limited mobility:
Research Medical Transportation Options
If your parent is frequently stuck at home and not able to easily make it to their medical appointments, they may become anxious and isolated. Thankfully, there are many options available for medical and wheelchair-friendly transportation. Start by checking on your parent's medical insurance benefits since many policies provide coverage for free medical transportation.
Signing up for a private service is another option, and may offer more flexibility. Flexible options are helpful when your parent wants to be dropped off and picked up on their own schedule and driven to their doctor's appointments, the grocery store, or other important locations.
Help Modify Their Home
Your parent deserves to feel safe and comfortable at home, and to be able to easily navigate their home in a wheelchair. They may need your assistance planning, working on, and possibly paying for home modifications to accommodate their limited mobility. Indoor and outdoor wheelchair ramps, as well as stairlifts, will make getting into and around their home much easier. Adding grab bars and a lifted toilet in the bathroom will help keep them safe and prevent falls.
Keep in mind that you may need to work with a contractor when planning more complex modifications and renovations, such as widening doorways or hallways. If you or your parent are concerned about cost, there may be funding resources including grants available, depending on your parent's state of residence, their veteran status, and their insurance.
Hire an Occupational Therapist
For a modest fee, often covered by insurance, an occupational therapist will meet you and your parent at home and provide guidance for navigating life with limited mobility. If your parent is new to being in a wheelchair, the occupational therapist can teach them how to use it more effectively and feel more confident getting around. They can also suggest improvements around the home as well as stretching and strengthening exercises.
As you can see, there are specific and helpful things you can do to help your aging parent experience more freedom even while confined to a wheelchair.Share