Older adults need a lot of help around the house, but it is not often that members of the family will be around to help with the smaller things. A typical household will not have a hired nurse, and so it becomes the duty of the homeowner to assist their aged parents or grandparents. Assistance may range from simple walking, to getting a hard to reach item. The wisdom comes in the form of self-assistance; that is, in the ability for the elderly to help themselves. This can easily be made possible with proper planning and slight adjustment to your daily routine.
Eliminate obstacles around the house. What may seem like a normal room to an agile twenty-year-old may be a gauntlet for a seventy-year-old. These daily obstacles pose threats ranging from mild to critical.
For example, glassware and tile can pose a very serious threat, while polycarbonate and carpet virtually eliminates any concern. Problems like that can be remedied by practical thinking: eliminate the obstacle, not the object. Outfitting the house to meet the needs of older adults, while at the same time preserving the homeowner’s comfort of living, can be much easier than it seems.
Some solutions can be practical and simple, while others may involve planning and expense. The most obvious and time-honored solution is to leave all of their personal effects downstairs, assuming they live inside a home with more than one story. Doing so will sidestep the most frightening scenario: falling down the stairs. If at all possible, ensure that plenty of necessities remain accessible on the first level, especially a bathroom.
As a tip, lay out a non-slip surface inside the tub and showers, as well as bath mats on the outside. Inexpensive and easy to install, they deter the most hazardous of daily household injuries. You can also add a handle, there are models that attach with strong suction cups, to offer a handhold while in the tub or shower.
There are many gadgets you can purchase to help with everyday living. For example, you can outfit the television with a wireless headset or a speaker that sits close to their chair or bed. This way, the volume can be turned up to suit their needs without disrupting the rest of the household. Another measure would be to enable subtitles and captions for movies and television.
Other gadgets to consider are audio reminders, which will remind a person of certain tasks via pre-recorded messages. In short, gadgets of all kinds can aid in everyday life just as well as practical decisions.
If they have a smartphone, there are tons of apps that can help with different tasks. Everything from a built-in magnifying glass, to reminders for medications, to games for times of boredom. For example, crossword puzzles and other games that aid in critical thinking and coordination are easily accessible on smartphones as well as many gaming systems.
A simple search on Google or Amazon will reveal a plethora of gadgets that can help make life easier for aging adults. Some are technical innovations, like a motion-activated toilet night light. Some are simpler, but equally helpful, like a tool to help put on their socks. Nowadays, there is a gadget or device to help with just about every aspect of life.
With these tips in mind, it likely won’t take much change to set up their home for safety and comfort. Often, the smallest detail can cause accidents, and just a little forethought can prevent issues. Aging adults are sometimes home alone for hours at a time. The best option is to structure a lifestyle for your aged parents or grandparents that suits them. This makes it easier for everyone involved, as self-assistance is the most ideal way to retain their freedom and their dignity. Talk with their doctor about any individual needs.
Silver Companions understands the challenges faced by aging adults, as well as those who care for them. We are here to help, and be a resource, in any way we can. Call or email us, for a free consultation. We can talk through your specific situation and make a recommendation based on your circumstances and budget. Call us at (678) 494-8129 or email us at info@SilverCompanionsGA.com.