The great majority of seniors are set on staying at home throughout aging, rather than relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home – close to 9 out of 10 of them, according to research done by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of familiar surroundings, the freedom to go wherever, whenever you please, the freedom to prepare the meals you want when you would like them are all invaluable commodities.
And while being able to age at home seems like the perfect plan, there are some real issues to think through as well:
- Will the aging adult stay safe?
- How will the senior get around once driving, or even walking, becomes challenging?
- What will happen if the older person gets ill or injured and no one’s around to help?
Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever for seniors to stay safe and comfortable as they age at home. These tips can help you in taking the necessary precautions to ensure your senior loved one is prepared for 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. Check to be sure that:
- Grab bars are installed near the tub and toilet.
- Throw rugs and any other tripping hazards are removed.
- There’s sufficient lighting, including in hallways and stairways.
- Commonly used items are stored within easy reach.
- Emergency contact information is posted in a highly visible location.
- Create a transportation plan, so it’s ready to implement when driving is no longer feasible:
- Research public transportation options that are available and easy to access.
- Put together a volunteer tree of reliable people the senior can turn to for transportation when needed: friends, family members, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, CareFor, etc.
- Ensure the older adult has access to the technology that can be used in an emergency to call for help when alone, such as a PERS (personal emergency response system).
The perfect way to ensure seniors remain safe and well cared for at home, however, is by engaging the services of a professional home care agency, such as CareFor. Our care experts are trained and have experience in providing personal care services, transportation, meal planning and preparation, and companionship, and are on hand for as much or as little care as required.
We begin by creating an individualized care plan to address the senior’s specific needs and wishes. We then regularly monitor that plan and modify as needs change – ensuring that the senior remains safe and is able to live life to the fullest at home, where it is most comfortable. Our Austin caregiving services are also available throughout the surrounding area. We invite you to reach out to us online or call us at (512) 338-4533 to learn more.