Senior living facilities and nursing homes are great resources for aging adults, yet they aren’t anyone’s first choice. Most senior citizens frown at the thought of having to leave familiarities and instead prefer to live out their golden years at home. Although everyone’s circumstances are different, aging in place is a viable option for some older adults. As aging comes with increased health and safety risks, you must take precautions to ensure senior citizens remain secure. Continue reading for some practical solutions.
Mobility issues become more common for seniors as they age. It’s easy for them to get dizzy, lose balance, or slip and fall, suffering significant injuries. Reducing these risks may require you to add modifications to their house or apartment.
Installing grab bars in the bathroom and hallways, securing loose carpeting, and brightening the lighting can help prevent accidents. Disabled seniors that require a wheelchair or sizable medical equipment may need ramps and wider doors to ensure safe entry. Finally, situating all their needs on one floor can prevent going up and down the stairs.
Whether you or your elderly relative has arthritis or has a disability, there is senior-friendly furniture that can make getting up and down more manageable.
A lift recliner or reclining bed can make daily functions like sitting or getting out of bed a lot less strenuous. Although these devices can be expensive, you may find that some health insurance companies cover all or a portion of the price.
Smaller items like remotes with large letters and numbers, grab sticks, or stepping stools are also great investments to reduce stress or strain on the body.
Health Management Plans
Managing existing medical conditions is essential to age in place. If your health worsens, you may not be able to care for yourself in your home or apartment. Therefore, you, your doctor, and a trusted family member should develop a health management plan.
The plan should include everything from lifestyle changes and taking medication to doctor’s visits and emergency measures. Suppose you need assistance with taking medication, managing your diabetes, or some other medical task. In that case, there’s always the option to consult with an agency for senior home care NYC (or near your residence).
You never know what could happen that could require immediate assistance. That’s why seniors are encouraged to talk with their friends or family about check-in and emergency plans. For instance, you and your adult child could have daily phone conversations to discuss your health and personal needs. If they don’t hear from you, they’ll know to do a welfare check or alert the authorities. Similarly, having a medical alert system can get you help if you can’t reach the phone. Ensure that you have a list of emergency contacts, medical id cards, and a living will visible in case of a severe emergency.
Loneliness and boredom are common underlying causes for depression in seniors, especially those that live alone. The best way to combat these negative emotions is to indulge in a hobby and build a social life. Whether you like to paint, sculpt, take photographs, go fishing, crochet, or dance, you can take classes or participate in these hobbies on your own. If you’re feeling lonely, schedule home visits with relatives and friends. You can also check out your local community center, where they often have activities for seniors ranging from bingo and exercise classes to meals and field trips.
When you’ve spent your adulthood caring for yourself, cultivating a life, and building a home, the last thing you want to do is leave it behind. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the outcome for all seniors. If aging in place is your preference, it’s possible to do so with little to no issues. Of course, before taking this route, ensure that you’ve consulted your doctor, enlisted the support of a relative, and taken care of the considerations listed above to make everyday life easier.
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