According to AARP, about 80% of seniors plan to age in their own home. No matter when an elderly person’s home was built, it was likely designed to accommodate a relatively young family and won’t be tailored to the specific needs an older person has as they age. If a senior citizen decides to age in their home, modifications will provide a more comfortable daily living.
As people age, they also become more prone to accidents during daily activities like showering or going up and down stairs. Simple adaptations to the home can help prevent major accidents. These accidents can cause an elderly loved one to need to be moved to a care facility. When you are helping a senior, who wants to age within their own home, it is important to have a conversation about making these modifications to avoid accidents. Although that conversation may be difficult, know that you are simply trying to cater to their wishes by preventing an accident, so they are able to live in their home as long as possible.
While it is never possible to make a home entirely accident proof, below are the top seven steps to ensuring your elderly loved one can live in their own home safely.
A home alert system is very important for elderly care. Unfortunately, senior citizens can be a target for break-ins and making sure they have a deterrent in place will protect them. After installing a home security alert system, make sure you walk your loved one through the technology several times as well as test drive various situations, so they are prepared. You can’t be too careful.
Medical Alert Systems
A medical alert system like those designed by companies like Nortek Security & Control is an absolute necessity for any senior living at home. Even if they are living with someone else it is crucial to ensure that they can always contact 911 without any effort in the case of a fall or accident. A medical alert bracelet or necklace can be lifesaving and should be purchased without any consideration to the cost. Newer models now have GPS capabilities which are ideal if mom or dad might suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Making adjustments in the bathroom is essential when you are helping a senior modify their home. The bathtub is naturally prone to accidents Installing safety bars to the bathtub should be one of the first modifications you make when updating a home. One of the simplest ways to make the shower safer is to install a step-in shower. This method can be rather expensive. If your senior has a traditional bathtub/shower combination a less expensive option is to install a step-in shower. You can also purchase a bathtub chair that sits simply in the tub and allows people to step into the shower one foot at a time, avoiding slips and falls.
When changing your home, installing ramps at any point where there is a transition from surfaces of two different heights will help seniors in their daily activities. Seniors are prone to balance issues and even those without wheelchairs can benefits. Small rubber ramps, called threshold ramps, can be easily installed by doorways where the surface height changes. These ramps are a simple way to avoid hazardous trips and falls.
Whether you’re preparing for retirement or looking for solutions for an aging loved one, these small changes can make a huge difference in elderly care and safety. When it comes down it, the most important thing is the health and safety of your loved one. It is important to start the conversation about making these updates so that they can stay in their home as long as possible.