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A Safer Home for Senior Independence

Where would  you  like to live  as  you  grow  older?         Surveys of people 50 years old  and up show that a large majority want to age in place, staying in their own homes even as their health needs change. They want to remain in the surroundings to which they are accustomed, in their established neighborhood with familiar shops and services. Through the years they have grown an informal support system of family, friends and neighbors.  Home is where their roots are!

But as the years pass, families often wonder if older loved ones are still safe living at home.  Those two flights of stairs, that fashionably dim lighting, that vintage clawfoot bathtub – features of the home that everyone took for granted suddenly seem like hazards!

It’s time to evaluate the suitability of the home and learn about improvements that can help your loved one’s house, condo or apartment better meet their changing needs:

 

Major remodeling projects:

 
  • Roll-in shower

  • Lowered kitchen cabinets

  • Widened doorways

  • Stair lift or personal elevator

  • Wheelchair ramp or ramped entryway

  • Nonslip, nonglare flooring

 

Some upgrades that are more modest in scope:

 
  • Grab bars in the bathtub or shower and next to the toilet

  • Raised toilet seats

  • Rocker-type light switches

  • Improved indoor/outdoor lighting

  • Handrails on both sides of stairs

 

Quick fixes to reduce the risk of falls:

 
  • Rearrange furniture so your loved one won’t trip

  • Remove throw rugs and tack down carpets

  • Clean up clutter and break the habit of placing items on stairs

  • Keep extension cords out of the pathway

  • Download a free Fall Prevention Guide at www.rightathome.net/fall-prevention.

 

Home security:

 
  • A peephole in the front door

  • Outdoor lighting and trimming shrubbery away from windows

  • Improve locks on all doors and windows

  • A home security system

 

Removal of fire and burn hazards:

 
  • Turn down the water heater to 120 degrees

  • Install smoke alarms and check them regularly

  • Observe proper use of extension cords

  • Follow  instructions for space heater use

 

Emergency communication

improvements:

 
  • Be sure your loved one has a mobile phone and knows how to use it

  • Consider a personal emergency response system

  • Install s smart speaker or other high-tech system

 

Bring in experts:

 

Poorly planned and built features can be useless and even hazardous.  Improperly anchored grab bars could cause, rather than prevent, a fall.  A wheelchair ramp that’s too steep and lacks safety features can be dangerous.

Choose a qualified contractor.  Ask for recommendations from experts and check references.

Occupational therapists and aging life care professionals (geriatric care managers) can help identify appropriate home modifications for your loved one’s needs.

 

Home safety: the human touch

 

There are many joys to living at home, but, for seniors with arthritis, visual impairment, the effect of a stroke, or other physical and cognitive challenges, some home tasks just aren’t safe, even with home modifications.  This is where professional in-home care can make all the difference.  Here are just some of the ways trained Right at Home caregivers help keep seniors safe at home:

 
  • Housekeeping services, including tasks that might be unsafe for your loved one, and removing hazards indoors and out.

  • Home hygiene tasks to lower the risk of infection

  • Doing laundry

  • Grocery shopping and preparing meals

  • Medication reminders

  • Bathing, dressing and toileting assistance

  • Transportation

  • Communication with family - safety is a team effort

 

About Right at Home of Longwood/Lake Mary

The Longwood/Lake Mary office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, LLC, serving communities throughout Seminole and Orange counties.  For further information please contact Right at Home of Longwood/Lake Mary at http://www.cflhomecare.com, call 321.295.7849, or email rob@cflhomecare.com.

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