A common preference among aging Americans is to stay in their homes as they grow older. For example, a new American Association of Retired People (AARP) study shows that three out of four adults over the age of 50 plan to stay in their homes and communities as they age. There are many positive reasons to stay in one’s home, including the social interaction of the community, the comfort of familiar surroundings, and the reduced cost of living by avoiding institutionalized care. Aging does bring challenges that compromise independence, though. One way in-home caregivers can help seniors remain independent is by maintaining a space free from common potential hazards.
June is National Safety Month. So, there is no better time to review what a safe environment means to seniors. Safety impacts older adults from the comfort of home to outings to familiar places. With age, even the most common daily functions pose new threats. With the help of in-home caregivers, seniors can maintain a safe and healthy life without leaving their homes and community. Begin the month of June by finding ways to maintain a safe and positive environment for aging adults.
Home Safety Evaluation
When choosing to remain in the home, family and caregivers need to evaluate home safety. Many factors may contribute to an unsafe environment. For instance, one of the most common home safety concerns is fall prevention. Over three million older adults are treated from falls each year, and the chance of falling again doubles within the first year. Caregivers can reduce fall threats by removing potential tripping hazards in the home. Items such as unneeded furniture, clutter, area rugs, extension cords, and pet toys create serious everyday risk. Additionally, lighting throughout the home will also make possible threats more obvious. You can also install grab bars and rails near the shower, bath, and toilet, for an added level of security as hard, and slippery surfaces pose falling dangers.
In addition to fall prevention, in-home caregivers can assist with common household maintenance like changing light bulbs, making sure fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are up to date and easy to access, and ensuring seniors can function around the house safely.
A suggestion for many older people and their caregivers is to create a Home Safety Checklist. These documents focus on details like fall prevention measures, physical safety in the bathroom, basic home maintenance concerns as well as items that impact daily living. Seniors can review their checklist regularly and include home maintenance concerns as well as items that impact daily living.
Safety is a Concern Inside and Outside the Home
Every part of a senior’s environment impacts their safety and independence. In-home caregivers can assess the daily challenges facing older adults and enable them to function safely within their environment. It’s just as important to review the home’s interior as it is to consider outside activities. That’s because commonly overlooked safety concerns can happen right outside the front door. Something as minor as sidewalk cracks or uneven steps makes the act of leaving the house potentially dangerous for seniors.
Caregivers will notice the challenges a simple walk in the neighborhood can pose to a senior. Then, they can offer physical help but also advocate for necessary changes. Leaving the house and being more socially active has a very positive effect on aging Americans. Research shows that engaging with a broad range of people results in higher levels of physical activity, positive moods, and less risk of depression. Ensuring that they have access to social activities outside the home without risk is another way in-home caregivers can help seniors live their fullest life.
Seniors Find Independence In Safe Environments
An aging person’s ability to function with independence relies on how their health and environment interact. In-home caregivers can facilitate access to medical equipment, assist with occupational therapy, and ensure seniors take medications correctly. Improper medication handling can result in life threatening and costly problems. With the aid of in-home caregivers, seniors are able to keep track of their daily medication routines.
Caregivers also play a vital role by communicating with other healthcare providers and family members regarding exercise and physical abilities. By maintaining excellent communication and staying aware of the client’s plan of care, in-home caregivers play an important role in seniors’ lives. The attention of a caregiver devoted to helping older people function in their environment is key to seniors also flourishing as they age.
By taking proper precautions and planning ahead, injuries and medical emergencies are greatly reduced, making it easier for seniors to age peacefully at home. Being able to grow old in the comfort of one’s own home without sacrificing independence clearly has many positive aspects. However, the positives also come with some hard to overlook facts regarding safety and wellbeing. By creating a supportive environment that encourages physical and mental activity, and social interaction, in-home caregivers help create a safe environment in which seniors can thrive.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and more independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.