There's No Place Like Home: Keeping Independent Seniors Safe
It's hard to think of our parents and loved ones not always being strong and capable, but like all people, they get older.
And as they do, it falls to us to take care of them. Unfortunately, the older they get, the harder it is to move around and keep the independence that they've grown accustomed to. Many want to stay in their own homes, but with their changing needs that gets more and more difficult.
The number one risk for seniors living independently is falling, whether it's slipping getting out of the shower, tripping over a rug, or losing balance on the stairs.
According to the United States National Institute on Aging, each year more than 1.6 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.
Good news for you and your elderly loved one
The good news is there are many easy ways to improve the safety and comfort of seniors living independently.
One of the most important safety issues facing the elderly is mobility. You can provide stability by installing grab bars and non-slip mats for bathroom and shower floors.
Don't forget to remove obstacles, such as loose rugs and clutter, throughout the house. These simple fall prevention tactics are easy and inexpensive to accomplish in any home.
Help them get moving
Improving mobility for the elderly prevents falls, reduces joint pain and stiffness, and helps them stay healthy. Not only will their physical health improve when you help them get moving, but their self-confidence and outlook on life will too.
There are lots of devices to help your mobility-challenged loved one get around. From rollators to power scooters and wheelchairs, there's something to fit everyone's need and ability level.
Speak to your relative's physician about which ambulatory aids would most help them. Then, visit a home care store, like Respiratory Homecare Services, to find the right mobility helper for your senior.
Know when to ask for outside help
For many seniors, there comes a time when simple safety measures aren't enough.
If someone you love needs help with everyday tasks or requires round-the-clock medical monitoring, consider hiring an in-home health care provider.
The cost varies depending on whether your relative needs a little help or a lot, but it's often well worth the money.
In-home health care providers allow your loved one to stay in the comfort of their home. Also, family caregivers often suffer from caregiver burnout and professional assistance can relieve that pressure.
Most importantly, hiring an assistant or nurse to help with your loved one's needs gives you peace of mind. You know they are being protected and comforted, even when you can not be with them.
Care for the ones who cared for you
They were always there for you, now you're there for them. If you have an elderly parent or relative, take the time to help them stay independent, healthy and safe as long as possible.
About the author:
Respiratory Homecare Services, located in Tulsa, Okla., provides professional, reliable service and compassionate care to the greater Tulsa area.
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