It is a tough decision when we have a loved one that needs more help than we can provide. It’s even harder, sometimes, to know how to help our loved ones stay safe in their home for longer as they get older, known as “aging in place”.
Fortunately, Ronnie Friedland does a great job outlining the things that you need to think about in order to help make your loved ones’ safer at home in the following article (found at www.care.com/a/home-care-versus-nursing-home-care-07091757).
Here is our summary of the article:
There are 3 main areas that you need to address in the home to make it safer for your aging loved ones:
- Support Systems
- Are there family members or friends that can be available to check in on and assist with any tasks the aging person is struggling with? Sometimes simple things like laundry, driving to the store, and doing dishes cause big problems for older individuals.
- Their church or religious organization can sometimes offer assistance and support in times of need.
- The local Agency on Aging (800- 677-1116) can be a great resource for information and programs that may be available in their area.
- You can hire an agency that specializes in in-home care, to come and stay with your loved ones at certain times of the day, or even overnight, to assist with the everyday tasks. This is a much more affordable option than in-home medical service, and is a great alternative in many cases.
- Prevent Falls (for more safety tips on this, see our blog post Dangers of Falling When You’re Over 65)
- Have a professional assess your or your loved one’s home. Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists and Home Care agencies can quickly assess your home for hidden dangers and help educate you on what needs to be changed or improved. (We are happy to speak with you about this, just call us at 678-494-8129, there is no charge for this call.)
- Rearrange the furniture in your home to prevent obstructions.
- Check the quality of rugs and floors for frays, lifted corners, loose boards, etc.
- Install grab bars near the shower/tub and be sure there are railings on all stairways.
- Warn seniors to carry lighter loads of groceries, boxes, etc.
- Ensure there are no loose cords or wires.
- Check footwear for loose or slippery soles, or other damage or wear that could cause tripping or slipping.
- Check medications, some medications, or combinations of medications, can cause dizziness or loss of balance.
- New Technology
- Emergency buttons to be worn on their neck can alert medical help that they have fallen or are in danger.
- Cameras can be installed and monitored remotely to be sure they are safe.
- Electronic reminders can remind seniors to take their medication.
With a combination of new technology and old school diligence, you can help ensure your aging loved one can “age in place” safely. Know you are not alone, there are resources to help you and your loved ones, when it becomes too much to handle alone.
Give us a call if you want to discuss your situation and we can give you an honest, helpful assessment. All of your information remains 100% safe, secure and private. We want to help you make the environment for your aging loved ones as happy, comfortable and safe as possible.