It’s a given that most seniors want to stay home for as long as possible. But, is your home as safe as it could be to accommodate your evolving needs? And, at what point should you consider a move to senior living? Check out these home safety tips for seniors and a senior living option that might ease the transition when it does come time to move.
Hidden Home Dangers
Of course, there’s nothing inherently dangerous about aging at home. However, issues with mobility, vision, hearing, balance, cognitive impairments and/or simply living alone can raise safety concerns at home in which you should be aware of.
For example, an average of more than 7,000 people ages 65 and older die each year in the United States due to a home injury. Falls are the leading cause of home injury deaths, injuries from fires at home are the second leading cause and poisonings are the third leading cause, according to the Home Safety Council (HSC).
In addition, HSC’s State of Home Safety in America report found that seniors experience an average of 2.3 million nonfatal home injuries each year, most of which are also due to falls.
Medication errors happen all too often as well, and with most seniors managing multiple prescriptions, it’s easy to see why adverse drug events account for approximately 280,000 hospitalizations annually according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
4 Safety Tips for Seniors Living at Home
Keep yourself safe and gain peace of mind with these tips:
- Reduce your fall risk – You’ll need to clear walking paths, install handrails on both sides of the stairs, make sure you have adequate lighting and remove throw rugs. In addition, install grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom and avoid step stools/ladders by purchasing a reach stick for items up high.
- Reduce your fire risk – Never leave the kitchen while cooking, avoid loose-fitting clothes, keep flammable items 3 feet or more from the cooktop. Avoid using space heaters (or keep them at least 3 feet from flammable items) and always turn them off when leaving the room. Get your furnace and/or fireplace inspected yearly and don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
- Prevent medication errors –Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and read the package insert. Make sure to take medications for the duration of prescription (even if you feel better), refill prescriptions early so you don’t run out and use pill organizers or apps to keep track of medications/dosage times.
- Prepare for emergencies – Beyond 911, have poison control as well as your neighbors’ phone numbers. Identify two ways to exit your home and make sure you have smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors on each floor/near each bedroom and check them bi-annually. Don’t forget to have easily accessible fire extinguishers and/or consider home fire sprinklers. If you’re on oxygen and/or a dialysis machine, it’s a good idea to have a backup generator. And a personal emergency response system (wearable call button) is a must for seniors.
Making the Move to Boutique Senior Living
Even after making these adjustments, there may come a time when it’s harder to manage the household, you have a health scare, a chronic condition worsens and/or you decide you’d rather not live alone. If one or more of these is the case, it may be time to consider senior living.
But senior living doesn’t always mean a large, institutional feeling community. There is an alternative known as boutique senior living where residential care is provided in a single-family home! We believe this blends the best of both worlds: the comfort of home with the quality care and amenities of large, traditional senior living communities. This can help ease your transition from home.
Our boutique senior living homes are specially crafted for assisted living or memory care with 10 to 16 residents max and a nearly unheard of 1 to 5 caregiver to resident ratio so you can enjoy the personalized attention and care you deserve. What’s more, our homes offer safety features such as sprinkler systems throughout, fall alert pendants, keypad entry/exit access and state-of-the-art video monitoring outdoors and in common areas for added peace of mind.
For more information on boutique senior living at Shepherd Premier, schedule a virtual tour today or call (224) 333-6247 to speak to a team member.