Growing old at home; how to stay safe
Stay home and stay safe
Is your loved one resilient to moving into a retirement home or long term care? This guide is here to give you some tips on how to let your loved one stay at home, but also stay safe at home. These tips generally fall into one of two categories; products that will help and services that will help them.
- Looking into clothing that is more senior friendly can be a great help to making their morning routine easier. Adaptive clothing can vary depending on what they need help with. If there are issues with buttons, looking into elasticized pants or easy touch fastenings are great solutions for bottoms. Magnetic tops to button up can leave your father/grandfather able to put on his collared shirt every morning without struggle.
- Think about “safe – proofing” the house. From top to bottom look at ways you can make the home easier to navigate. This doesn’t have to be as expensive as installing an elevator or a mobile chair that brings you up the stairs. Start on a small scale; look into installing bars in washrooms, showers and bedsides. Look into getting them personal safety devices, such as emergency systems that they can carry with them in case of slips or falls.
- Footwear isn’t often something that you think of when it comes to safety equipment. But proper slippers can be exactly what they need to prevent slips and falls. If your senior in need has tiled or slippery flooring, slip resistant footwear can greatly benefit their safety. This can be indoor slippers or even socks with grip on them.
- A very hard part about being a senior is continuing to be able to transport yourself. This is both inside and outside of the house. If you are not yet wheelchair dependent, having a walker around can come in handy. This can be used if you are tired or sore on a specific day, they will have something to help them get around. Even a cane to help them get up the stairs. For driving purposes, looking into transportation services that they can call instead of having to drive themselves.
- Health services can mean a variety of things. In the case of medication this could mean having someone come in to help administer medication. Physiotherapy is also incredibly healthy at an older age, especially during the winter months when it’s harder to get outside and active. Sometimes it can be as simple as having someone come in to make your breakfast and get your lunch and dinner ready for later in the day. Cooking can become tiresome and dangerous if forgetfulness is a problem. So having someone to come in and prepare meals for you is safe as well as nice for company.
- Getting out of bed in the morning, even the best of us are groggy. Being a senior will make you a little more unstable. This can make simple tasks like bathing become unsafe. Having a caregiver come in to help them through the morning routine will start their day off right. If they only need help bathing, having someone come in two to three times a week can keep them clean and safe. If they struggle with independent dressing, assisted dressing can be helpful to get them started in the morning. In the case of having a care giver come to help you dress in the morning, it opens more doors to adaptive clothing. This is clothing that is specifically created for assisted dressing. This clothing involves open-back tops, for those who struggle with putting clothing over their head or reach their arms upwards. For wheelchair users having open-back pants and dresses can make dressing easier for both themselves and caregivers.
- Get them to join a club or a program. This will give them something to do every day but will also give you peace of mind that they have a “Daily check up” if you will. Being around people can be good for their health to avoid isolation and depression. It can be hard for family and friends to come over every day and all the time, we know. So give them something to do where they have the ability to go to people if they begin to feel lonely in between family visits.
In most cases, these services can be provided for you through government services. Make sure to look into seeing what help you can receive. You can talk to your bank, health care provider or online to see what types of ministries will have rebates for installations and services. It’s hard to remove someone from their home, so take steps to help them stay able to be in their home in a safe way.