The vast majority of older individuals choose to remain at home throughout aging, rather than relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home – nearly 90 percent of them, according to research conducted by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of a familiar environment, the freedom to go wherever, whenever you want, and the freedom to prepare the meals you want when you want them are all priceless commodities.
But while it seems like the ideal plan for growing older, there are some real concerns to think through as well:
- Will the older adult remain safe at home?
- How will the older person get around when driving, or even walking, becomes difficult?
- What happens if the senior becomes sick or injured and nobody is around to help?
Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever for seniors to remain safe and well at home. The tips below can help you take the necessary steps to improve home safety for elderly adults wishing to age in place, ensuring your loved one is prepared to meet these needs and any others, now and in the future:
- Evaluate the home, both inside and out, from the perspective of the senior’s safety. Ensure the following are in place:
- Grab bars are installed beside the tub and toilet.
- Throw rugs and other trip hazards are removed.
- There is sufficient lighting, including in halls and stairways.
- Commonly used items are located within easy reach.
- Emergency contact information is posted in a highly visible location.
- Create a transportation plan, including a backup options when driving is no longer feasible:
- Research public transportation options that are available and easy to access.
- Assemble a volunteer tree of trustworthy, local people your loved one can contact for transportation when needed. This may include friends, family members, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, Stay Home Care, etc.
- Make sure the older person has access to the technological tools that can be used in an emergency to call for help when alone, such as a PERS (personal emergency response system).
The ideal way to ensure older individuals are safe and well cared for at home is to engage a professional home care agency, such as Stay Home Care. Our professional care providers are trained and have experience in providing personal care services, transportation, meal preparation, and companionship, and are available for as much or as little care as needed.
Our customized care begins with a free in-home consultation, during which we will create an individualized plan of care to address the senior’s unique needs, and we will continue to monitor that plan and update as needs change – ensuring that the individual remains safe and will be able to live life to the fullest, where it’s most comfortable: right at home.