If I was pushed to identify ONE practical thing that should be done when one’s elderly parents show the first signs of becoming in any way unsteady on their feet, it would be to take as many measures as possible to avoid falls.
This is a lesson that I only learned after my mother had tripped over a flex and broken her hip. The implications of breaking a hip in older age are many and such a fracture can mark the beginning of a downward spiral, especially in terms of independent living.
I know it’s impossible to remove all possible dangers but there are many features in a parental home that become absolutely taken-for-granted over the years. Floor mats with raised edges, bedclothes that dangle, storage that involves needing to stand on chairs or use ladders, precious slippers or other footwear that snags on things or doesn’t have good grip, bath tubs/showers without non-slip mats and hand grips …..
There is clearly need for sensitivity around suggesting/making changes and ideally this will be done in partnership with parents. Binning sloppy slippers,when say a parent is out of the house, can lead to all sorts of rows and tensions, even though it may be done with the best of intentions!