Seven tips to help seniors remain at home
Aging in place is a noble goal to keep loved ones in the home as long as they can before going into assisted living facilities. Here are seven tips to give it the best opportunity for success.
Slippery bathroom surfaces and towel racks inappropriately used as assistance can lead to falls. Install grab bars, non-slip mats, decals and other non-slip flooring. Replace the bathtub walk-in shower or rotating tub seat and install an elevated toilet seat.
Add stair-assist devices or relocate the senior to the first floor. If possible, add a first-floor bedroom with a full bath and laundry. Remove loose throw rugs and secure edges of carpets. Install brighter bulbs with motion sensors.
For the kitchen, if still cooking meals, move items to lower levels or provide a slip-free stool or a grabber tool. Install an automatic stove shut-off system, ensure smoke alarms are in working order and keep a fire extinguisher next to the stove.
Widen doorways, augment stairways, replace balky door locks that stick or lock by mistake, as well as locks on interior doors.
Dim lighting is a hazard by making it difficult to see stairs, doorways, furniture and obstacles. Install brighter bulbs with motion sensors and additional lighting where necessary.
Consider a Home Monitor Sensor System that monitors doorways and rooms and alerts caregivers if the senior has not moved in a certain amount of time. Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems can include a GPS locator.
Add ramps for wheelchairs, making it possible to remain at home and enter and exit the home without assistance.