If you have begun to plan for you future care and are already making decisions for your possible long-term care needs, then you are wise to do so. It is best to start planning for future events like this now instead of when care is actually needed. Doing so now may allow you more clarity and ease of mind in planning for your future. Perhaps, you gave given much thought to the subject and have also decided that when the time comes ,you wish to age in home versus a residential care facility. If this is the case, we recommend you begin making your home safer now versus later. For seniors who choose to age at home, safety is a main concern and this is why it is important to begin planning now! Compiled below are some main recommendations to help make your home safer, should you plan to age at home:
Reduce Fall Risk
The physical environment of your home could begin to pose a safety threat to you as you age. Stairs that were once no problem can turn into perilous threats to your safety . In fact, many once harmless furniture and objects can turn into a source of trouble for you if you do not take the proper precautions. Take a look around your home and look for areas of concern, some may appear non concerning at first glance however, its is best to imagine an older and less mobile version of yourself navigating through your home. Bath tubs and toilets should feature grab bars for additional support and non skid mats to avoid sliding. If your tub has a glass door it may also feature an extra inch of height you must step over in order to get in and out of the bath tub. Consider installing a lower bath model to help avoid any falls while exiting and entering your tub or shower. Adding a safety rail to your staircase and removing all throw rugs from your home can also help reduce your risk of a detrimental fall. If your bedroom is on the top floor consider relocating to the bottom floor to reduce daily stair usage.
Add Lighting & Timers
Aging is notorious for causing eyesight related problems. Due to this, an older individual typically requires up to 4 times more light than younger individuals and an 80 year old individual will require up to 10 times more light just to see clearly. Begin incorporating more intense lighting around your home now, focusing especially on entryways and stairways to ensure they are well lit. To avoid issues with other hazards such as leaving the stove on, begin setting a timer anytime you are utilizing your stove to serve as a reminder that is is still on.
Telephones & Emergency Response Systems
To combat hearing loss , amplifiers can be installed onto telephones. Cordless phones are recommended in order to avoid any cord related hazards and all phones should be located in easy to reach places. It is also recommended you keep a phone by your bedside in case of emergency. For those who live alone, it is best to consider an emergency response system (ERS) or small device that attaches to your clothing and can call for help. Should you fall or need assistance, you would simply press the button located on your ERS and a signal would be dispatched to your nearest response center .
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