September 1, 2014

Elderly and Alone? Safe Ways to Maintain Your Independence

elderly manIf you are an elderly individual who prefers remaining in your home over moving into an assisted living or retirement community, it is important to take steps to ensure that you remain safe at all times. After all, one of the downsides of getting older is that your likelihood of getting hurt in an accident or experiencing a medical emergency is greatly increased. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make your home safer while still maintaining your independence.

Tips for Creating a Safer Home Environment

1) Home Care AssistanceIf you need help with certain aspects of your daily routine, you can hire the assistance of home care providers to be at your home during specific times of the day and week. For example, if you are no longer able to go up and down the basement stairs to do your laundry, you can utilize the services of a home care assistant to take care of this necessary process for you.
 

2) Safety Bars – Installing safety bars in your bathroom is one of the best ways to make sure that you can continue to take care of your own basic hygiene without needing specialized assistance. Keep in mind that people of all ages slip and fall in the shower, so safety bars are a good idea for anyone who occasionally experiences issues with their balance.

3) Meals on Wheels – Whether you have difficulty cooking or are battling with the restrictions that are imposed on you due to a limited budget, it is definitely a good idea to look into your local Meals on Wheels program. These groups will help you meet your nutritional needs, and they can provide any elderly individual with some much-needed assistance if they are having difficulty cooking for themselves.

4) Medical Alert System – There are several different companies that have some form of medical alert system that has been created to assist independent seniors, and this can definitely give you some peace of mind. After all, cell phones only work if they are always with you, and it is also possible that you might not be able to get a signal during an emergency. Therefore, having something that you can wear at all times is a more reliable way to protect yourself.

5) Move Your Room Downstairs – One of the most difficult things about living alone as a senior is dealing with a lot of stairs on a regular basis. Therefore, if it is at all possible, you should put your bed on the same floor level as the kitchen and bathroom. This will make it easier for you to remain independent without needing to worry about falling due to weakened legs or knees.

Staying in your own home is definitely the preferred option of most elderly individuals. As long as you take the proper steps to keep yourself safe, you should be able to live in your home and maintain at least some of your independence for the foreseeable future.

 Bethany Gillis offers this advice in hopes that those who are aging and wishing to remain at home can identify alternatives that will allow them to do so. She strongly encourages the hiring of home care providers in order to assist with tasks around the home that may be too difficult for the elderly to do alone.

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