Getting older is a difficult process. The mind and body begin to slow, and things just don’t work the way they used to. Despite these difficulties, many individuals are not ready to give up the freedom of having their own home. It’s time to look around and determine how to make the home livable as time goes on. Each room of the home should allow for easy movement and maneuverability, and our Orlando senior home care experts can evaluate the space for temperature, dexterity, or mobility hazards, or even recommend a medical alert device. Here are some considerations that should be kept in mind.
As we age, the body grows more sensitive to changes in temperature. Hot and cold are felt more strongly, so it is important that the water heater temperature is set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and that any accessible heat or air conditioning vents are properly insulated to prevent burning hands or other body parts that may bump into them. Clothes should be worn in lightweight layers so that adding or subtracting layers can counteract changes in body temperature.
Arthritis in the fingers and hand joints makes fine movement more difficult. Simple changes such as swapping round door knobs and sink faucet knobs for levers increase an individual’s ability to take care of themselves for a longer period of time.
As dexterity declines, everyday items like decorative throw rugs and power cords left on the floor become hazardous. The floor should be free of anything other than furniture to help prevent tripping. If the floor is laminate, tile, or hardwood, it is also a slipping hazard; Loved ones should wear shoes or non-skid socks around the house, or even consider having carpet installed.
Railings installed throughout the home can also increase the amount of time a loved one can remain independent. Bed, shower, toilet, and stair rails will help ensure that sitting, standing, and climbing is accomplished without injury.
Medical alert devices bring peace of mind to many seniors. Help is just a button press away, no matter the situation. There are many options available, which can include neck and wrist wearables, two-way communication whole-home systems, and even motion-sensitive pendants that can detect a fall and place a call for help for someone.
Taking advantage of these helpful suggestions will benefit aging loved ones, but nothing can replace the eyes and ears of a caring person. A friend or family member visiting once or twice a week will make sure that the home continues to be safe and that the loved one is taking proper care of themselves. If there are no friends or family available, BrightStar Care’s Companion Care or Personal Care services are available to fill in the gap. Our Orlando senior home care professionals are compassionate caregivers dedicated to maintaining a high quality of life. If you or a loved one would benefit from additional help at home, please call BrightStar Care at 1-866-618-7827 for a complimentary in-home assessment.