Scenario1: Sharmin, 30, working in a well reputed MNC, had to attend an important conference for three days in another city. However, although she wanted to make the best of the opportunity, she could not attend the conference as her parents were alone at home and she found it difficult to leave them and go.
Scenario 2: Rahul, 32, lives with his parents, both of who are retired from work, and remain at home for most of the time. He is working for an export-import firm, and travels most of the time. But he manages to attend his tours and business trips smoothly and his parents too, are confident of staying alone back home for the time he is not there with them.
How can something that has been so difficult for Sharmin, be easy for Rahul? Well, it all requires a little thinking and planning, nothing more. While Sharmin, did not apply her mind as to how she could make her parents self-dependent in taking care of themselves, Rahul on the other hand took a note of all the important things that his parents would require and the things they would need to take care of.
Here’s a brief list of the things you can do, so that just like Rahul, you too can ensure the safety of your parents for all the time you would venture out of the house:
1) Medicine medicines
First and foremost, check whether your parent’s medicines are well stocked. In case there is shortage, it is better to get them in advance.
2) First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is very essential and should always be kept handy. Tell your parents where the kit is kept and also explain to them ways in which they can treat simple injuries.
3) Health Insurance Card
The health insurance card must be kept handy as well and you need to inform your parents that in case of an emergency they can easily get access to the hospital available to them with the help of the card.
4) Kitchen Safety
Remind your mother to always turn off the valve of the gas cylinder after cooking is over as this will ensure their safety. Also, ensure that there are enough groceries at home before you leave the house. Give cash to your maid so that she can get things from the market which may be required in your absence. If your parents are suffering from diabetics or high blood pressure, it is advisable to dispose off things like ice creams, sweets, salty namkeens etc.
5) Bathroom Safety
Make sure there are slip resistant mats outside the bathroom and toilet, in order to prevent someone from slipping or losing balance. Replace them in advance, in case they are not in good condition.
If you leave behind a maid in the house who would look after your parents, give him/her standing instructions on the do’s and dont’s. Firstly, tell your maid to keep a bottle of water near your parent’s bed at all times, so that they can help themselves whenever they are thirsty. Secondly, ask your maid to keep a bulb switched on throughout the night in order to prevent mishaps. And before leaving, you personally check if all the lights in the kitchen, hallway, bathroom and bedroom are working properly.
7) Emergency Numbers
Write down all the emergency numbers on a big sheet of paper and stick it next to the telephone or on your parents’ bedroom wall.
Using a Mobile
Encourage your parents to learn the basic operations of a mobile phone so that they do not have to depend on others to make important calls. You can also set all the emergency numbers on speed dial to make it easier for them.
9) Peep Hole
Also ask your parents to first take a look at the visitor on the door through the peep hole when the doorbell rings. This way they can ignore strangers and salesmen.
10) Use ‘Post Its’
As parents in old age generally tend to forget things, use ‘post its’ as reminders with short messages asking them to turn off the gas valve, take medicines etc.
Remember to set recurring alarms on the mobile phone so as to remind them that its time to take medicines.
12) Inform your Friend
A friend in need is a friend indeed! Inform your neighbours and closest buddies that your parents would be alone at home for the time you will be travelling and that they can drop in once in a while to check on them. You can also inform the security guard in your apartment to keep a check.
Apart from doing the above things, remember