Home is where the heart is, and for most seniors, their hearts are set on continuing to live at home as they age, rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility – almost 90% of them, per stats from AARP. And who can blame them? The familiarity of comfortable surroundings, the freedom to come and go as you wish, the ability to prepare whatever meals you'd like whenever you want, are worth more than gold.
But although this seems ideal, there are some considerations seniors and their families should keep in mind when the question of moving or "aging in place" arises:
Will you or the elderly loved one be safe staying at home?
How will you or they get around when driving, or even walking, becomes difficult?
What happens if the senior falls and is injured or becomes ill and no one’s nearby to help?
Thankfully, it is possible for seniors to remain safe and well cared for at home, with a little thought and planning. These tips can help you take the necessary steps to ensure you or your elderly loved one is prepared for these and other needs, now and in the years to come:
Assess the home, both inside and out, from the perspective of the senior’s safety. Check to make sure:
Grab bars are in place near the bathtub and toilet--if the senior is having difficulty getting up off the toilet or out of the bathtub due to being unsteady trying to stand up.
Throw rugs and other tripping hazards are removed.
There’s plenty of lighting, including in hallways and stairways.
Commonly used items are within easy reach.
Emergency numbers are posted in a prominent location, such as near the phone or on the front of the refrigerator.
Put together a transportation plan, so it will be ready to implement when driving is no longer an option:
Look into public transportation options that are available and easily accessible.
Put together a volunteer tree of trusted people the senior can call on for transportation when needed: friends, family members, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, or a Home Care company.
Provide the senior with technology to use in an emergency to call for help when alone, such as a PERS (personal emergency response system) which often comes in the form of a pendant worn around the neck that they can press for help when needed. This system alerts emergency personnel to respond to the senior's apartment or home for assistance.
Other than family members providing assistance to their loved ones in the senior's home, another reliable and effective way to keep seniors safe and well-cared for at home is by retaining the services of a professional in-home care agency. Our professional caregivers are experienced and have been trained in providing a wide array of personal care services, along with things like transportation, meal preparation, companionship and much more.
Making sure that seniors and the disabled can stay at home safely and effectively is our mission. If you have any questions or to learn more about in-home care, contact us at (208) 777-0308.