These days, many facilities are available for seniors. Some are in nursing homes, while others are in assisted living communities. But despite the many elder care facilities available, more elderly people are choosing to age in place. This refers to seniors wanting to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.
Many families of seniors who want to age in place fear for their safety. Leaving your parents all alone in their house can be a terrifying thought. What if they get hurt or need help but no one is there to help them? The good news is that there are things you can do to increase the safety of your parents and still have that peace of mind even if they have chosen to age in place.
Assess their needs and capabilities
Some seniors are in perfect health, have no memory issues, and are capable of doing activities of daily living themselves. But not all are strong enough to navigate the stairs, can safely use the bathroom, do household chores themselves, or run errands. Knowing what kind of assistance your aging parent needs can help you determine the things you can do to make their life easier. If they tend to forget to take their medications on time, you can help them set alarms to have someone take over. If it is no longer safe for them to do some errands, you can help them do this yourself, ask a family or friend on your behalf, or hire a pro to do this for you.
Help them make their home a more accessible place
Sometimes, it makes more sense for seniors to live in a single-story home. But if your senior loved one insists on living in their home with multiple floors, you may need to make certain modifications to make their home more accessible. You can opt for an elevator or a stair lift so that they can easily go up and down the stairs. It would be best to convert one of the rooms on the first floor into a bedroom and add a portable bathtub to avoid a messy renovation. It is also a good idea to make the hallways and doors wide and install a ramp, especially if your senior loved one now uses a wheelchair or a walker.
Reduce slip and fall hazards
Seniors are frail and prone to slips and falls. So make sure that you get rid of slip and fall hazards in their home. Avoid using throw rugs and ensure that carpets are fixed firmly. Get rid of any clutter, especially in traffic areas such as the living room, hallways, and staircases. Adequate lighting is also a must, and nightlights and light switches with glow-in-the-dark stickers are a good idea. Smart lighting can be a good way to ensure that your loved one’s home is well-lit even when you’re miles away from them.
Sometimes, our aging loved ones would want the privacy that only their homes can offer, which is why they have chosen to age in place rather than in a nursing home. If they can still manage, you can always help improve their safety while they age in place. They get to spend the rest of their life just the way they want, and you can still do your part, ensuring that their comfort and safety are not an issue.