A large proportion of seniors are set on aging at home, instead of relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home – nearly 90 percent of them, based upon research conducted by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of familiar surroundings, the freedom to come and go as you would like, the freedom to prepare the meals you want when you would like them are all invaluable commodities.
But although it sounds like the ideal plan for growing older, there are some real issues to think through as well:
- Will the older adult be safe?
- How will the older person get around if driving, or even walking, is challenging?
- What will happen if the older adult becomes ill or hurt and no one is near to help?
Fortunately, it is now easier than ever for seniors to stay safe and well at home. These suggestions can assist you in taking the necessary safeguards to ensure your loved one is prepared for these needs and any others, now and in the future:
- Assess the home, both inside and out, from the perspective of the older person’s safety. Check to verify that:
- Grab bars are in place near the bathtub and toilet.
- Throw rugs and any other fall hazards are removed.
- There’s sufficient lighting, including in hallways and stairways.
- Frequently used items are located within easy reach.
- Emergency contact information is posted in a highly visible location.
- Put together a transportation plan, so it’s ready to implement when driving is no longer an option:
- Explore public transportation choices that are available and easily accessible.
- Put together a volunteer tree of trustworthy people the older person can turn to for transportation when needed: friends, relatives, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, Advanced Home Health Care, etc.
- Make sure the older adult has access to the technology that can be used in an emergency to call for help when alone, like a PERS (personal emergency response system).
The ideal way to ensure older individuals remain safe and well cared for at home, however, is by engaging the services of a trusted home care agency, such as Advanced Home Health Care. Our caregivers are trained and have experience in providing personal care services, transportation, meal preparation, and companionship, and are available to help for as much or as little care as needed.
We begin by creating an individualized care plan to address the older person’s particular needs and wishes, and then we continuously monitor that plan and adjust as needs change – making certain that the senior stays safe and will be able to live life to the fullest, where it is most comfortable: right at home.