“There’s no place like home.” This phrase isn’t just an idiom made popular by the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. It’s a statement believed to be true by just about everyone. Is there any place you feel more comfortable than where you live? For older adults, a great deal of fear and anxiety is created by the idea that they can’t live out their days at home.
Do you have an elderly loved one who wishes to age in place? What are the necessary steps to help him/her do so safely?
Be diligent about having easy access to health care.
It’s important to consider the access to health care that your elderly parent will be receiving. How close is his/her home to a medical facility? Do you have easy access to a pharmacy and/or walk-in clinic? Is the home easily accessible to paramedics? If the place of residence is remote, it’s vital that you discuss your loved one’s needs with a team of family members, friends and medical professionals. By doing so, everyone will be prepared for emergencies.
“It’s important to know that many ‘aging’ problems, such as limited mobility or social isolation, track back to underlying health problems,” points out Dr. Leslie Kernisan on BetterHealthWhileAging.net, “Work with a primary care team to develop a good plan for managing chronic illnesses. Ask the medical team for help if you notice your older relative struggling with life tasks.”
Become friends with technology.
We can’t all be tech-savvy. However, it only makes sense to get acquainted with the many different gadgets and platforms out there. They allow us to stay in touch with the world. Getting a good handle on modern technology will help to eliminate feelings of loneliness and isolation in your elderly loved one. By introducing him/her to video conferencing tools, he/she will be able to chat with friends and family without leaving the home.
“You don’t need to become a computer whiz to stay in touch with friends and loved ones from all over the globe,” California’s Seniors At Home reminds us, “Getting acquainted with your smartphone or digital tablet’s messaging and video screen sharing programs can help keep you connected from the comfort of your living room. You’ll also find out what’s going on in your community and access helpful services such as grocery delivery and taxi services.”
Determine if home modifications are necessary.
Does your elderly loved one contend with a mobility issue? If so, it’s vital that you take into consideration the need for some changes to be made in your home. To avoid unnecessary trips and falls, it’s wise to completely eliminate tripping hazards from the floor. This includes removing throw rugs, tucking away wires and rearranging furniture. As well, it may be necessary to safeguard your staircase by having a stair lift installed.
“Above all, it’s important to determine if your loved one’s home is safe, comfortable, accessible, and conducive to aging in place,” agrees Companions For Seniors, “For example, if your loved one has difficulty with stairs, but lives in a home with steep steps leading to the front and rear entrances, this location may not be sustainable for them in the long-term.”
LifeCare Mobility Solutions would love to help the senior in your life to safely age in place. To learn all about our solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!