For a host of senior citizens, the idea of leaving their homes for an institutional lifestyle (i.e., a nursing home) is inconceivable. In fact, a 2010 AARP study showed that nearly 90 percent of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes.
And through their many years of work and sacrifice, most elderly Americans have earned that right. However, seniors who do remain at home need to make sure their residences are safe.
The leading cause of death for people 65 and older is falling, so the first step in creating a “senior safe” home is controlling the home environment.
Suggestions to avoid falls include installing handrails on both sides of indoor and outdoor steps; securing all carpets and throw rugs with double-sided tape; installing easy-to-grasp handles for drawers and cabinet doors; adding reflective, non-slip tape on all non-carpeted stairs; replacing door knobs with lever handles; and placing a bench or stand near entrances for resting and setting down packages.
Also make sure to repair any loose carpet; remove electrical cords from walkways; use nightlights judiciously; and for overall safety, install smoke alarms throughout the house.
Bathrooms can be especially dangerous for seniors. KCET.org suggests installing grab handles; placing non-skid mats inside and outside the shower or tub; and installing a shower chair or bath bench.
Other excellent suggestions for seniors include placing as many items as possible on lower shelves to make reaching them easier; refraining from trying to carry too many things at once; and wearing low-heeled shoes with non-skid soles.
Keeping seniors safe at home was the very genesis of establishing Remain At Home Senior Care. Our sole purpose is to keep seniors in the place they call home, regardless of any/all acuity levels. We offer the very best of both medical and non-medical companion care – with the added addition of physician and RN oversight. And despite our “dual offerings,” we are able to offer very competitive pricing as compared to “unskilled” agencies.
An older person’s house is, in many ways, a storehouse of memories and artifacts from younger days, and seniors should be allowed to remain the on-site curators of those collections. A few practical alterations will mean they can stay and enjoy them safely, happily.