How important is my independence? How much do I love my home? Would I ever want to lose either?
These are questions all of us face as we age.
No one wants to lose their independence. In fact, when the time comes, most of us would prefer to do what’s known as “aging in place.” This is where seniors get to retain most, if not all, of their independence, while staying in their own home.
What does it take to make aging in place possible?
The Ultimate Guide to Aging in Place – Making Sure Our Loved Ones Stay Safe
As caregivers or loved ones of seniors, of course we want to see them living happy, healthy, independent lives. But they need to do so in a way which is going to be safe.
After all, there’s no point in protecting a person’s independence at the risk of illness or injury.
How can we ensure our loved ones stay safe at home? We can do so by following these three steps.
Make Home Modifications to Ensure Safety
The first step we need to take is to implement some safety measures within the home. We can put these measures into place whether our loved one is living with us or completely on their own.
What kind of modifications should be made?
- Add more lighting
- Add handrails around the home, especially in the shower/tub and around the toilet
- Widen doorways
- Remove tripping hazards, like area rugs
- Purchasing chairs which have armrests
- Purchasing motorized recliners which lift a person safely to their feet
- Changing door knobs so they’re easier to open
- Adding a lifted seat to the toilet
- Invest in a walk-in tub
- Moving their room downstairs or moving them into a one-story space.
Hire a Home Care Aide for Practical Assistance
The second step we should take is to hire a home care aide. Home care can make life so much easier, safer, and more enjoyable for seniors.
They can help with:
- Cooking and eating
- Bathing and going to the restroom
- Running errands (including medication pick-up)
Depending on the needs of the senior, there are multiple levels of home care services. For instance, seniors who return home after a stay in the hospital need more specialized care.
Aides can help them with:
- Medication management
- Rehabilitation exercises
- Speech therapy
Something else caregivers look for when they hire home care are services focused around dementia and Alzheimers.
At Skylark Senior Care, we create a unique care program for each senior so they can receive the individualized care they really need. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all services.
Take Advantage of Local Adult Day Care Activities
Making sure a senior’s physical needs are cared for is vital. Of equal importance, though, is their emotional wellbeing.
We can make home modifications and hire someone to help with chores and medication management, but it will all be for naught if we don’t pay attention to our loved one’s emotional needs.
We all have these kinds of needs – the need for movement, for social interaction, for continued education. These things are essential in order for us to feel like happy, well-rounded individuals. And this doesn’t stop once we reach our senior years.
Keeping seniors healthy is very closely linked with keeping them happy. In fact, in a report in Science Daily, happiness can have just as much of an impact our health as not smoking, changing our diet, and getting plenty of exercise.
This is why adult day care centers are so important. Not only do they give caregivers a respite – they give seniors the opportunity to get out of the house, socialize, and have some fun. All of which can have a profound impact on their cardiovascular health and immune response.
With the Right Tools, Seniors Can Stay Happy, Healthy, and Independent
It’s hard to imagine being told we can’t stay in our home any longer. No matter how hard a loved one tries to reason with us, we’d likely strongly object to the idea.
We all want to retain our independence for as long as possible. It doesn’t matter what age we are. The beloved seniors in our life don’t feel any different about it than someone in their twenties or thirties.
Thankfully, even though independence isn’t as easy as when a person is young, healthy, and strong, there are resources which can help. With the right assistance – like seniors get from home care and adult day services – they can healthily and happily age in place.