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Helping Dad Stay Independent: The Best Father's Day Gift for an Aging Parent - A Checklist from Dr. Dan Tobin, Founder and CEO of Care Support of America
Date:6/10/2009

ng on whether he could use help with home repairs or housecleaning. Remember to think about preventing falls, which cause serious problems as your Dad ages."

Nutrition

"Is your father eating properly? What's in his refrigerator?"

Adaptive Technologies

"Is your Dad's strength or mobility reduced in any way? Would he benefit from, or even enjoy using, any adaptive devices from low tech to high, such as kitchen utensils or tools with bigger grips, or a webcam or an e-mail device for seniors?"

Driving

"Driving may be one of the most difficult issues to discuss. Men almost always resist the need to stop driving. Your Dad's driving skills need to be re-assessed in light of vision, responsiveness, hearing, and night vision. If his driving is restricted, be willing to compromise -- maybe driving only in the daytime or in familiar places. You can also help in setting him up with alternative transportation services."

Finances

"If your Dad has not discussed family finances with you before, be aware that finances can be one of the most personal parts of family dynamics. You can start by finding out if your Dad's personal finances are in order -- bills, rent, mortgage, credit cards, taxes, etc. Does he have enough money for extras? If his budget is stretched, you can try to find free services in his community. If possible, you can also offer to pay for services such as home health aides, home repairs, cleaning services, transportation, and entertainment."

"Often an individualized family plan goes a long way to show your Dad that the entire family is mobilized around giving him the gift he really, really wants for Father's Day -- independence and support," Dr. Tobin says.

Family care managers, like Care Support
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SOURCE Care Support of America
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