Nearly 90 percent of seniors plan to remain at home in their Golden Years, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). There are many advantages of home living, from increased independence to comfort, familiarity and accessibility to nearby family and friends. When a senior chooses this option, rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility, loved ones often worry about the safety of their elderly relative.
What happens if a senior has a fall while at home? Is the neighborhood safe? Can anyone help with daily activities? These are just a few of the concerns that children and other relatives may have when seniors decide to continue living on their own. At Santé, we understand the issues that seniors living alone may face and the concerns that loved ones have. Our home health care program provides needed medical care for your parent or relative while also addressing many of the safety issues that seniors have at home.
To help you get started, we’ve provided a helpful checklist of tips to ensure your loved one’s safety at home. Once you’ve reviewed the list, our caring and well-trained staff can help address any major concerns.
Trips & Spills
According to the CDC, each year one in four seniors aged 65 and older has a fall. Many of their injuries require a hospital stay and/or post-acute care at a facility such as Santé. To minimize the possibility of falls in a senior’s home:
- Place everyday household items such as toiletries, food and cleaning supplies within easy reach on counters, in easy-open drawers or lower shelves and cabinets.
- Keep extra canes or walkers handy in different rooms throughout the house.
- Clean up clutter that could potentially cause trips and falls.
- Clear room on the bedside table for vitamins/pill boxes, medical supplies or medications, and necessities like tissues. Keep these within arm’s reach. For less mobile seniors, a swiveling table is recommended so that items can be accessed without stretching or leaving bed.
- Install senior-friendly features like toilet and shower bars, ramps, etc. Santé’s occupational therapists can assist with recommendations for adaptations to your loved one’s residence.
- Consider a medical alert system with a button that can be pressed in case of emergency.
Many adults worry about the security of their aging parent’s home. More than half of all reported crimes against seniors happen in or near their homes. Take these steps to increase the security in your loved one’s home.
- Install a security system, preferably with cameras and live monitoring. Make sure your loved one knows how to work the system properly, or use Smart home technology to operate everything remotely so they don’t have to operate it regularly.
- Post reminders to lock doors and windows, even when your loved one is at home.
- Minimize the time your loved one is alone, or only with another senior. Encourage your loved one to have regular visits with friends and family. You may also wish to consider in-home care and companionship options. This helps with emotional well-being, as well as physical security.
- Ask a neighbor or nearby relative to make regular check-in visits.
- Advise your senior not to open the door for people they don’t recognize.
- If your senior goes online, provided a detailed list of Internet security precautions (for example, not reusing passwords, installing virus scanners, entering credit card information only on secure and recognized sites). Seniors are often a prime target for online scams.
Home health care goes beyond help with everyday tasks. Santé’s team of physicians, nurses, home health aides and specialty therapists assist with everything from providing in-home tests and administering medication to tackling household errands. Call 480-563-2402, contact us online or visit one of our Arizona post-acute care facilities for more information.