Keeping Seniors Safe

Aging in Place: Keeping Seniors Safe From Injury

As more seniors choose to age in place, it has become paramount to ensure that they can do so safely. This can be done by enacting certain changes in their living spaces and lifestyles. Read on to learn more.

Considerations for Aging in Place

While there are benefits to aging in place such as helping you maintain your independence and keeping you in a familiar setting. There are also things that must be taken into consideration as your needs change. According to Age In Place, some of the changes that you’ll have to account for are decreased vision, hearing, and mobility. You may also experience decreased muscle strength and become more prone to illness. As a senior, you are also more likely to become injured from a slip or fall. Your changing body may have an impact on your ability to move around the home, drive independently, take care of your home, and meet your personal or medical needs. With this in mind, you’ll have to make sure that aging in place is the best decision for you.

Helpful Resources While Aging in Place

It’s perfectly normal to take advantage of certain necessary resources while aging in place. You can seek help from organizations like the National Council on Aging. They work to provide senior-friendly community programs and AARP. Which provides helpful guidance to seniors in the areas of nutrition, discount programs, and legal advice. If you need it, Meals on Wheels is also available to help seniors meet their nutritional needs. While HealthFinder is a government organization that helps seniors with health-related information. Depending on your current physical health, you may also want to look into finding a caregiver.

Keeping Yourself Safe From Injury

Your risk for injury from a slip or fall can increase if you have arthritis or if you have fallen before. A recent study also showed that seniors who regularly take certain medications such as sedatives, diuretics, antidepressants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Those were more likely to fall and require trips to the emergency room. If you have any concerns about the side effects of your medication or your risk of falling. It’s recommended that you take proactive measures like getting a fall-risk assessment from your doctor and asking for a review of your medications.

As a senior, regular exercise can also help you maintain some of your muscle strength and improve your balance. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be eligible for the SilverSneakers program, which is a great exercise program for seniors. There are activities for beginners and those who are more advanced, including aerobics, yoga, and Pilates.

Modifying Your Home for Safety

In order to stay in your home, you’ll have to make certain modifications to make sure you can still move around safely and independently. Some general changes you can expect to make are … Widening the entryways and installing a ramp so the home can be wheelchair accessible. For the prevention of slips and falls, in particular, this simple checklist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) … Can guide you on what you need to look out for. The modifications include fixing broken or uneven steps, using carpeting with non-slip rubber treads, installing grab bars for the bathtub, and placing wires or cords along the wall so they are out of the way. While home modifications can be expensive, you can look into grants such as this one that can fund home modifications for seniors aging in place.

Part of keeping your home safe (and in good condition) is performing regular maintenance work. For instance, make sure you have your HVAC system inspected and gutters cleaned regularly. Clogged gutters can lead to roof damage and possible leaks. Gutter cleaning costs typically average between $106 and 197, but larger jobs will cost more. Try to get your gutters cleaned twice a year.

Aging in place has been shown to be beneficial as long as the senior’s needs are well taken care of. Make sure you have all the bases covered before coming to a final decision, so you can be safe as well as enjoy staying in your home.

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