Home is where the heart is, which is why the hearts of so many seniors are set on aging in place at home, instead of facing a move to a nursing home or assisted living facility – upwards of 90% of them, as shown in research conducted by AARP. And it stands to reason: the comfort of home’s familiar surroundings, the independence to go wherever, whenever you please, the freedom to determine what meals you want and when you want them are all priceless expressions of self-reliance.
But though it may sound like the ideal plan for aging, there are several questions to be answered first:
- Can I be sure the older person will be safe at home, especially if living alone?
- How will my loved one get from place to place when driving is no longer an option?
- What will happen if my loved one is sick or hurt, and no one’s on hand to help?
Thankfully, it is now even easier than ever before for older adults to be safe and well cared for while living at home. The tips below can assist you in ensuring your loved one is prepared for these needs and any additional ones, now and in the years to come:
- Assess the inside and outside of the home, from the standpoint of the senior’s safety. Make sure that:
- There are grab bars in place near the toilet and bathtub.
- Any throw rugs or other tripping hazards are removed.
- There is plenty of lighting, especially in hallways and stairways.
- Commonly-used items are easy to reach.
- Emergency phone numbers are displayed in a prominent location in the home.
- Create a plan for transportation, so that when driving is no longer possible, the senior still has options to get where he/she needs and wants to go:
- Look at available public transportation options where the senior lives.
- Put together a list of trusted people the older person can call for transportation needs: friends, neighbors, family members, religious organizations, local senior centers, Harmony Home Health & Hospice, etc.
- Make sure your loved one has access to a PERS (personal emergency response system) or other technology to enable the senior to call for help immediately when needed.
An effective way for seniors to remain safe at home is by engaging the services of a professional home health care agency, such as Harmony Home Health & Hospice. Our fully trained and experienced caregivers are able to provide a variety of home health care services, including family caregiver training and education, various therapies, and nursing services.
We begin by creating an individualized care plan that addresses the individual’s particular needs and challenges, and then we monitor that plan on an ongoing basis, modifying as needs change over time – ensuring that the older adult is safe and able to live life to the fullest, where it’s preferred: at home. Contact our Salt Lake City home care team at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to find out if our home health care services are available in your area.