Safety Measures for Seniors Living at Home
Two-thirds of Nevada County and Placer County seniors live at home. Of that, 83% live alone. When you’re living alone, one of your most important concerns is for your personal safety. You likely feel happy and comfortable living at home and out of assisted care, but this can cause a lot of worry that you may have an injury. This concern isn’t unfounded. Every year, 3 million seniors in the U.S. are treated in emergency care for slip and fall accidents. These accidents are a serious health risk that can cause severe injuries. Additionally, you may worry that you aren’t getting appropriate nutrition, which can make you much more likely to have bone breakage if you sustain a fall. Here are some safety measures you can take to prevent injury and ensure the happiest and healthiest life living at home.
Hire an In-Home Health Aide
Hiring an in-home health aide can be an incredible resource if you are living at home. An in-home health aide can:
- Check-in to make sure you’re eating and drinking, and monitor your physical condition
- Help with things like bathing, personal grooming, using the restroom, and maintaining hygiene
- Aid in housekeeping tasks and cooking
- Assist if there’s an emergency
However, it’s important to ensure that if you have a care provider entering the home, you know the signs of elder abuse. Recognizing the signs of this type of abuse is crucial if you’re having an outsider entering your life. Never be afraid to speak up and advocate for yourself if someone is making you feel unsafe.
Upgrade Treacherous Areas of the Home
For seniors, there are certain areas of the home that are especially treacherous. The bathroom is by far the most dangerous place in the home, and the vast majority of in-home accidents occur there. Some upgrades you can make to your bathroom to improve safety include:
- Grab bars for inside of the shower
- Absorbent, non-slip mats for the floor
- A walk-in bathtub for increased safety
- A raised toilet to assist in using the restroom for those with mobility issues
- Bright lights for increased visibility
Another dangerous area of the home is the kitchen. Kitchen injuries include burns, cuts, and falls. Some safety upgrades for this area of the home are:
- Bright lights
- Safety covers for the oven and stove knobs
- Non-slip mats
- Smart faucets for seniors with joint issues
Throughout the home, you can upgrade lighting and make sure that items that are used daily are within easy reach to avoid the risk of a slip and fall when searching a cabinet. You may also consider adding a chair lift to avoid a dangerous fall down the stairs. Adding safety features to your home will ensure you can live as happily and comfortably as possible.
Use a Home Safety System
A slip and fall accident can happen in an instant and may leave you hurt, scared, and unable to call for help. Giving yourself an instant connection to contact a loved one or emergency services is vital to their safety. Here are some options for medical or emergency alert systems you could use:
- Alert button you can wear at all times
- Landline systems that’ll call for help at the touch of a button
- Car alert button for excursions
Giving yourself the ability to call for assistance helps you retain independence and enjoy your life, and you know if something goes wrong, help is on the way. You’ll be grateful if you invest in one of these services if the time comes and you need it.
Downsize to a Home with Only One Floor
While you may not want to move into an elder care system, you may find that living in a home with multiple floors is treacherous and that your current home isn’t meeting your safety needs. While a chair lift can be a solution, some might prefer to have easy access to the entirety of their home. Options include:
- Apartment living: Downsizing to an apartment can take a lot of the headache out of daily tasks. Additionally, it lifts the responsibility of home maintenance.
- Senior apartment complexes: Different from an assisted living facility, these apartments cater to seniors, but will still allow you freedom and independence. These facilities may have staff on hand to deal with emergencies.
- Purchasing a smaller home: If you want to have more privacy and dominion over their living space, they might want to buy a smaller home. Some may prefer having their own yard or garden space and enjoy that it’s more reasonable to invest in a home than to pay rent. Seeking pre-approval for a mortgage in the case that you’re interested in buying a home can help to assess the budget for this transition.
Moving to a home that suits your needs can be an incredible change in your life that can prevent a life-threatening fall.
Connect Them With a Food Delivery Service
Sometimes, you might find you struggle with tasks like getting groceries, preparing food, and providing yourself with adequate nutrition. Using a food delivery service that delivers nutritious, balanced meals is a great way to make sure these needs are met. Meals on Wheels operates throughout the country, a great resource for seniors across the United States. Nutrition is extremely important, since the consequences of malnutrition in seniors can be very severe, and include:
- Weight loss
- Lowered bone density
- Increased chance of hospitalization
- Worsened immune system
Having food delivered directly to the home is an incredible service that can take the stress of meal planning off of your hands. Better nutrition means a longer and more active life, and more time spent in your home.
Taking safety measures in the home is crucial for the health of seniors. Making upgrades to your living situation will ensure a healthy, independent, and full life for you, while still living at home.
Access for Area Seniors
Did you know that there’s a dedicated website for local seniors? Under the umbrella of the California Health and Human Services Agency, the California Department of Aging (CDA) administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State. These programs are funded through the federal Older Americans Act, the Older Californians Act, and the Medi-Cal program.
Check it out: www.aging.ca.gov
Also, check out our local connection points. There is help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling the numbers below:
Connections for Nevada and Placer County Seniors:
- Placer County – (833) 342-5211
- Nevada County – (833) 342-5211
- Washoe County – (866) 535-5654
Making social connections is important. That is why Sierra Senior Services is happy to announce that our in-person, congregate dining began again at the beginning of May. The Congregate Meals Program serves nutritious meals to older adults in group settings with an opportunity to socialize with others. Our programs are hosted at the North Tahoe Events Center in Kings Beach and the community room of the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments in Truckee Voluntary contributions are welcome, but not required.
See our Events sections for details.
Sierra Senior Services is the local Meals on Wheels provider covering the Greater Truckee/Lake Tahoe region. We provide home-delivered meals, and can make referrals for additional support services that empower seniors to continue living independently. Sierra Senior Services is a California 501-(c)-3 Non-profit Corporation · Tax ID 68-0484075 Contribute today https://www.sierraseniors.org/product/sierra-senior-services-donations/!