With a disabled parent living at home, you may be worried about helping them maintain a high quality of life as time goes on. Here are four ways help enhance their quality of life, and therefore make things a little less stressful at home overall:
Invest in a Power Wheelchair
One of the best things you can do to enhance your parent's quality of life if they can't get around easily on their own is buy them a power wheelchair to enjoy. A power wheelchair will allow them to get around the house and yard on their own without having to rely on someone else to push them. Your loved one will also be able to travel further when in public places — they can even go on walks in the park with their family and friends if they want to.
Power wheelchairs can traverse over many types of terrains and can be maneuvered in tight spaces, which means your parent can go pretty much anywhere they want in their electric chair. Look for a power wheelchair that features multiple seating options so your loved one can maintain comfort in a variety of settings and situations. Some wheelchairs feature tilting and reclining features. They can be tilted upward to make it easier for your loved one to get up out of their seat, and they can be reclined when a short nap is needed while out and about.
Commit to a Weekly Outing
Committing to a weekly outing with your disabled parent is another great way to make sure that they remain happy with their quality of life while living with you. By spending an afternoon or evening with your parent doing something they enjoy, they'll have something to look forward to throughout the week when they're stuck at home. These regular outings will give your parent an opportunity to blow off some steam, get some exercise, enhance their social life, and relieve any stress that's been building up.
Your parent may want to play some bingo, hang out with friends at the community center, take a sewing or woodworking class, or see a movie at the mall. Whatever they want to do should be supported as long as it's legal and safe. Ask your parent which day of the week they'd like to take their outings, and have them plan a month's worth of outings at a time so you can plan for them as necessary.
Hire a Part-Time Caretaker
To take some pressure off of everyone in the household, including your disabled parent, consider hiring a part-time caretaker to help out with basic tasks a few days a week. There may be some things your parent would like help with, such as bathing, that they're uncomfortable going to family members for. Their caretaker can handle those tasks to enhance your parent's comfort levels and make them feel a bit more independent when interacting with the family. The caretaker can also help with things such as meal prep and running errands when your family's schedule is busy so everyone can stress less about what needs to be done throughout any given day.
Take Time to Ask for Input
Your disabled parent may not be able to participate in a lot of household activities or do a share of the chores, but their input should still be considered when making some small or large decisions around the house. By taking time to ask for their input, your parent will feel valued and like a productive member of the household. So make sure you ask them what they want for dinner once or twice a week. And if you consider changing the bath soap, find out what their opinion is. It's also crucial to make sure that your parent feels comfortable offering their input without being specifically asked, so keep communication open by asking open ended questions such as, "What's been on your mind lately?"