Tips for Remaining Independent at Home
One of the most difficult decisions as a senior is the ability to safely remain at home or to move into an assisted living facility. The desire to remain at home is an understandable one. However, safety should be the biggest concern and should be the main concern when making this decision. Simply requiring additional assistance does not mean that the senior can no longer safely live at home. Special arrangements may need to be made. Consider the following tips for remaining independent without moving into an assisted living facility.
Safety proof the house
Medical conditions may prevent ease of mobility. They may prevent seniors from using stairs safely. They may also require the use of mobility devices. All of these situations require safety proofing the house. The main bedroom may need to be moved to the main floor to prevent the use of stairs. The main bedroom may also need to be moved closer to bathroom accessibility. If the kitchen is not near, it could be beneficial to have a mobile refrigerator stored into the bedroom. All of these things can make mobility around the house easier and safer.
Ability to administer medications
Chronic medical conditions are the most common reason for loss of independence among seniors. Just 9.3% of adults with diabetes have only diabetes. Other common conditions include arthritis, asthma, chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If a senior requires regular medication for their chronic medical conditions, they must have the ability to administer their own medication, if the plan is for them to remain living alone at home. They should also be able to administer medications in the event of an emergency.
Ability to phone for help
Even the most independent of people can have an emergency. A landline phone should be easy accessible from the bedroom, in the event of an emergency. The senior should also be aware of known numbers to call and be able to verbalize their emergency, as well as any other medical problems to be concerned about. Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Ensure that safety and emergency plans are in mind.
Use of mobility devices
Even if the senior does not regularly require medical walkers and other mobility aids for seniors when outside of the house, medical walkers can be beneficial for easy movement around the house. They can also be helpful in the middle of the night, or when the senior is feeling weak after diabetic care. Medical walkers do not have to be used permanently, but can be a great additional safety benefit around the house, even for emergency care or mobility.
Simple housecleaning tasks
Although friends, family, and hired employees can help out with the housecleaning tasks, there are some tasks that need to be completed daily. The senior should be able to make simple meals and clean up after themselves. Consider disposable bed protectors and a mattress protector for simple bedding changes, in the event of an accident. The washings can wait until someone else comes over, leaving minimal work for the senior.
Hire a home care company
Hiring a home care company can provide peace of mind for all involved. The senior knows that someone will be over to check on them daily, also completing any needed tasks or assistive duties. The family also knows that their loved one has assistance daily. With nearly 10% of seniors using more than one mobility device, having a home care company simply to check on the senior is a great choice.
Many seniors prefer to remain at home for as long as possible. Moving to an assistive care facility often translates to a loss of freedom. Seniors may be able to extend their ability to remain in the comfort of their own home by using medical walkers and medical canes for easy movement, disposable mattress protectors for easy cleaning, and regular home care check ups. The abilities of the senior for care during emergencies should also be evaluated.