Thursday, June 06, 2024

Aging in Place: How to Make Home Safe & Sound for Your Aging Loved One

Home is where the heart is, especially for a senior citizen who has lived in a particular space for generations. Keeping your aging loved one safe and secure at home, the place they feel most comfortable, can enhance their quality of life and help them live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Many simple adjustments can accommodate an elderly person better as tasks like walking upstairs or preparing meals become increasingly difficult.

In this blog, we will cover some of the best modifications you can make to your aging loved ones' home to diminish concerns and risks and keep them safe at any age.

Assess The Needs of Your Aging Loved One

Your loved ones' home may need a few modifications or many. Avoid unnecessary changes by assessing their needs first. Consider factors like the medications they take, their mobility level, and cognitive health as you decide which modifications adequately address their needs.

Keep Your Loved One Informed

No one wants abrupt changes made to their space without their consent, regardless of their age or health status. Give your loved ones this respect and keep them in the loop of the changes taking place and why they are important. The last thing you want to do is disrupt your loved ones' sense of familiarity and independence. 

Include them in all conversations regarding changes to their home. Ensure they approve of the changes, which will happen much easier if they know why they are important.

Home Modifications: Create a Safe Space for Your Aging Loved One

Some home modifications are more common than others. Senior citizens often experience similar health concerns, which these modifications can address.

The most important modifications made in the homes of elderly individuals include:

  • Accessibility can be a huge issue for senior citizens. Ensure areas like the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen are easily accessible for your loved one. Ramps, handrails, and grab bars are some accommodations you can add to the home to make it more accessible for your loved one.
  • According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury and death for adults 65 and older. In 2021, more than 3 million elderly individuals visited the ER over preventable falls, with 38,742 reported deaths. Removing hazards is an easy way to help prevent slip and fall accidents. You can also improve lighting to keep your loved ones safe.
  • Reduce slip and fall accidents by keeping the home clean and clutter-free. Random items on the floor, on a table, or tucked inside a sofa cushion may seem harmless, but, for a senior, they can pose serious risks.
  • Bathroom accidents are also quite common among elderly individuals. You can reduce risks by installing grab bars by the toilet and inside the shower, adding a shower chair to the tub, and adding non-slip mats inside and outside the bathtub.
  • Improve lighting throughout the home.  Brighter lights significantly reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents and other mishaps.
  • Kitchen accidents are common in elderly individuals. Updating the kitchen with items specially designed for seniors can reduce risks. This includes larger, easier-to-hand gadgets and appliances with large button-style controls.  

Hire a Home Helper

It can be difficult to give our aging loved ones the time and attention they deserve while maintaining our own lives. This often leaves us feeling overwhelmed, guilty, and looking for relief. With home helpers, your loved one gets the superior care they deserve while you get relief.

Home helpers, better known as home health aides, can come to your home and care for your loved one. Caregivers offer round-the-clock care or can come out only during the hours you need them. The medically trained, caring, and compassionate caregivers give your loved one the same attention you would provide them. 

Insurance covers the cost of most home health aide services.  Choose a home health aide from Amazing Home Care to ensure your loved one remains safe, healthy, and happy in their home. Our compassionate caregivers are trained to care for your loved one and enhance their quality of life while filling you with peace of mind.  

Home health aides can:

  • Assist your loved one with house cleaning, meal preparation, bathing, dressing, medication management, and otherwise ensure they are safe, happy, and cared for. 
  • Respond to emergencies and crises if they occur
  • Provide support and companionship, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness, a common problem amongst senior citizens

Home health aides play an important role in the care and well-being of your aging loved one. They offer round-the-clock care or can help during the days and hours you need an extra hand. Insurance typically pays home health aide costs, further reducing burdens on your family.

As you search for a home health aide for your loved one, keep the following information in mind.

  • Know Your Needs: Before starting the search for a home health aide, write a list of criteria you expect to receive from the caregiver, such as their hours of availability, compatibility with your loved one, experience level, and cost of care.  
  • Ask Around: Friends, coworkers, family members, and even social media acquaintances can provide information about local home health aides. You can trust the information they offer, ultimately saving time as you search for a qualified caregiver.
  • Do Your Research: Research different home health facilities, looking for one that has earned a good reputation in the community. Positive reviews increase the odds you will find the same success working with the company. The Internet provides a great place to conduct research for home health aides in New York.
  • Credentials: You may need a home health aide with special credentials if your loved one has specific care needs. Check out the credentials offered by the aides employed by any facility you are interested in hiring.
  • Conduct Interviews: After narrowing the candidate selection to two or three options, interview each person to gain a better perspective to find the best person for the job. Ask questions, gauge their qualifications and personality, and rest assured you can find the best caregiver.

The Bottom Line

Living to be a senior citizen is a privilege and honor. By implementing small modifications and making minor adjustments, you ensure your loved one enjoys the golden years with comfort, dignity, and safety. Furthermore, knowing your loved one is cared for brings you joy and comfort. The goal is to create a space that helps your loved ones thrive. Use the information above to keep your loved one safe at any age.

This is a guest blog entry.

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