As adults age, they often have to take extra steps if they want to remain in their home instead of heading off to a residential care facility. In most cases, it is smart to start planning for long-term care needs early on instead of waiting until someone can no longer stay in the home safely alone. Taking the time now to plan can benefit you as you age or your loved ones if you are offering them support and care as they age in the home. Educating yourself about safety and security risks now will help you make better choices about keeping a home safe and secure for aging adults.
Protect Against Common Sources of Accidents
Falls are a leading risk factor among older adults. Over a million people end up in hospital emergency rooms every year as the result of falls, and many of those people are senior citizens. Anything you can do to reduce fall risks is critical to ensure a senior’s safety at home.
Part of staying in your home as you age involves making your home more friendly to your capabilities as a senior. Main floor laundry facilities are of critical importance. If it is not possible to move the washer and dryer to the main floor, loved ones may need to come to visit a few times a week to help out with the laundry. Repeatedly going up and down stairs is a risk factor for slipping and falling.
So too are loose cords on the floor and area rugs. Make sure that you take every step you can to minimize the potential for a trip, slip, or fall. Investing in a low clearance shower for the bathroom is a good idea, as is a security or monitoring health device so that your loved one can reach out if something happens and they cannot leave the house or contact anyone on the phone. Invest in assistive technology and devices that make tasks like showering or going to the bathroom simpler and more stable.
Invest in Home Security to Deter Criminals
Heartbreaking as it may be to acknowledge, there are some people who view senior citizens as easy targets for crimes. Robbery, home invasions, and even sexual assaults can occur when a vulnerable senior lives alone. Making sure that the home is secure is an important first step to reducing the risk of crime.
All doors and windows should be easy for the senior to open, close, and lock. That may mean investing in hardware that is easier to manipulate with arthritic hands. Investing in a security system is also a wise decision. That way, there will be someone available to help if a break-in or other crime occurs. Motion sensors, security cameras, and panic buttons are all options that can help keep senior citizens living at home alone safe.
Staying in the home is often the best bet for the highest quality of life as a senior. A familiar environment is more comfortable and certainly more cost-effective than a nursing home. Provided that you take adequate steps, you can help ensure that aging in the house is a safe and viable option.