Many senior citizens feel that they are capable of living independently, but the fact is that as time goes by they may struggle with daily activities that used to be routine. Simple acts like bathing, keeping track of medication, planning meals and straightening up the house can often become monumental tasks. At this point, family members may wonder if it is time to consider an independent living facility or a nursing home.
For seniors who value their independence, simple changes like modifying the home, purchasing specialized equipment, checking for safety and enlisting the assistance of an in-home caregiver may be the answer to remaining independent in familiar surroundings.
Installing sensible home modifications and keeping helpful equipment handy can go a long way toward allowing older adults to “age in place.” It is estimated that in the United States almost a third of senior citizens age 65 and older experience falls that cause injury and even death. There are some easy fixes that can help seniors prevent serious injury, like adding ambient lighting, task lighting and night lights throughout the home, installing handrails on either side of indoor and outdoor stairs and placing a bench near the front door to set down groceries and rest when necessary. It is a good idea to install additional telephones around the house and a medical alert system in case of emergency.
There is a wide array of equipment that can help senior citizens live an independent lifestyle, especially for the bathroom. Grab bars, walk-in tubs, shower seats and lift systems can prove to be essential for personal hygiene. If a low toilet seat in the bathroom makes it difficult to stand up, purchase a higher toilet or install an extender to raise the seat. Bedroom aids include bed trays and bed rails. Equipment for mobility such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters can also help with activities of daily living.
Family members can conduct ongoing safety checks to eliminate potential hazards and prevent falls. The kitchen should have good lighting at the sink, near the oven and over countertop work areas. Avoid waxing floors to prevent slips, and place an anti-scald device on kitchen and bathroom faucets to regulate water temperature by keeping it below 120 degrees. Cabinets and drawers with C-shaped or D-shaped pulls in the kitchen and bath are easier to grasp. Area rugs in the living room and elsewhere should be removed or secured with double-sided tape, and non-slip tape should be added to any staircase without carpeting. The bathroom should have a non-skid floor mat on the floor.
In-Home Health Care
Seniors, especially those who live alone, may be able to continue living independently in their own homes with a little help from an in-home health caregiver. Caregivers can provide services in accordance with interactive techniques that encourage seniors to remain involved with daily activities such as shopping for groceries, planning meals, cooking, and cleaning the house. The caregiver can also transport seniors to social and volunteer activities and provide companionship by engaging them in conversation, accompanying them on walks and going out for lunch or dinner.
For aging adults, sometimes all it takes is a safe environment, helpful equipment and some assistance from a compassionate professional caregiver to remain independent at home.
Hiring an In-Home Companion
When you need a home health care companion to help your loved one remain independent at home, contact Home Helpers of South Shore by filling the form on your left side or calling 781-585-1244 to learn more about the support we provide to make life easier for seniors.
We serve the following communities:
Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman