Most seniors want to age in place, allowing them to retain high control in a familiar environment. Plus, some older adults value remaining close to their possessions. When you think about it, people spend decades acquiring various objects; some hold sentimental value, so departing with them is difficult. Aging in place allows them happiness with the familiarity of everything, but safety concerns raise the question how to care for an older adult at home.
Senior at home – safety assessment
Helping a loved one stay home may include stopping by every few days to check in on them and assisting with various tasks. These tasks include meal prep, helping with appointments, medication management, and more. Whatever assistance, this allows someone to age in place. During this time, one must regularly assess a home’s safety concerns, especially for anyone with vision, hearing, or mobility issues. Consider hiring a professional, such as an occupational therapist, geriatric care coordinator, or aging-in-place specialist, who can assess the home and make recommendations.
Making sure the home is well-lit (use automatic night lights)
Explore and install technology such as medication reminders, accident sensor alert systems, wander guard products, or technology to assist with opening and closing doors or turning on or off lights.
Installing adjustable shower seats, grab bars, and handrails
Installing a wheelchair ramp
Creating adjustable countertops
Though the list above is a start, there are more things to consider.
Caring for a senior at home – remove dangerous items!
Be sure to secure hazardous household items, especially for anyone in the later stages of cognitive decline. These requirements could apply if one brings a professional caregiver into the home. Items to secure:
Kitchen and bathroom cleaning supplies
Razors and other sharp objects
Fire extinguishers – store your fire extinguisher where it is easily accessible to others except your aging loved one.
Other potentially hazardous objects
Always check the smoke detector to ensure it is current and the batteries are fresh.
Additional things to consider
Make sure to leave emergency numbers in an accessible location for quick reference. In addition, keep a list of all medications and supplements the person is taking, including a list of allergies. These lists assist any first responders or emergency staff in knowing current medical conditions and how to treat the person. Accessible locations are near all telephones, displayed on a refrigerator, or for health related information in a pill bottle inside the refrigerator door.
STAGES is here to educate people about older adult concerns.