Improving a Senior’s Life Starts in the Home
As healthcare improves and seniors are able to enjoy an enhanced quality of life, it becomes more popular for this age group to stay in their homes as long as possible. Living at home helps them stay more comfortable in their own house, avoids the stress of moving, and prevents the need for paying for assisted living or another form of intensive care. Instead, make sure your senior family member or friend has access to everything they need to facilitate life in their current residence. Performing some in-home upgrades and outsourcing a couple of services can be helpful to help keep them happy and healthy in their home in the foreseeable future.
Enlist in Services:
Depending on how much assistance is needed, a senior home care service can do wonders. An overnight caregiver can even help you avoid putting your senior loved one in a nursing home. In less intensive cases, a senior helper could help with walking a pet, providing transportation to run errands or go to the doctor, or simply checking in once a week and assist where needed. Seniors Helping Seniors is a great senior care service that provides companionship and other small household chores as needed. This service offers the additional benefit of employing seniors to do the caregiving. This makes it less awkward for seniors to receive help. It also helps bring some social activity and companionship to their daily lives.
House cleaning and lawn maintenance services can additionally be a great help with daily chores. Even if you aren’t a gardener, having someone regularly mow the grass can prevent a day of hard work. A house cleaning or maid service can stop in weekly, biweekly, or monthly to do a thorough vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing. Home maintenance tasks are some of the most strenuous parts of a senior’s day, so it is well worth investing in some help.
Aside from employing help, see what services your community has to offer. Often, church groups or healthcare organizations have some extra help for seniors at no charge. This includes cooking nutritious meals, having social get-togethers, or offering transportation to church or doctor visits. For instance, hospitals may offer programs where doctors will attend daily walks with seniors. This allows them to get some exercise while having a doctor nearby in case of emergencies. Some cities also offer senior citizen centers with similar services and activities.
1) Have alarm systems around the house. This means installing a security alarm (seniors are often common targets for theft) that automatically calls an emergency service center for help. Other popular safety devices include portable medical alerts, which could be worn as a necklace or placed around the house. When a senior falls, faints, or is feeling severe pain, they can easily get help with the push of a button. ADT has a range of products for both medical alert and home safety alarm systems.
2) Install new doorknobs. As we age, our grip often grows week, making simple tasks like opening jars and turning doorknobs increasingly difficult. Some people add gripping devices to knobs to make them easier to grasp and turn. Another great solution is to replace a standard doorknob with the lever-style handles. These are easily pushed down as you push a door forwards or pull it towards you.
3) Reduce clutter. Clutter makes it difficult to find things, creates tripping hazards, and is practically asking for someone to stub a toe. Instead of leaving things on the floor, add some shelving or standalone cupboards to hold items that are usually strewn around rooms. It can be difficult to ask someone to part with what you see as junk, so consider moving older items to the attic. They will be safe and out of the way.
4) Add carpeting. Wood floors are slippery and harsh on the joints. Rugs can move around and are sometimes tripping hazards – especially when a foot gets caught under the edge. Instead, install carpet around the house as you see fit. It is cushioning, comfortable, and traps allergens found in the air (which is why regular cleanings are helpful). As a bonus, carpet keeps the floor warmer in the wintertime.
5) Walk-in showers and bathtubs. Walk-in tubs make taking a relaxing bath easy. Likewise, installing glass shower doors makes it easy to get in and out of a shower. These upgrades can be a little bit pricey, but they are well worth the investment when it is time to sell the house. They make it look more elegant and modern while adding some functionality.
6) Prepare for emergency maintenance. As always, something is bound to go wrong in the house from time to time. It may be a leaky pipe, lightning striking, or a failing air conditioning unit. In these cases, make sure that your senior family member has a list of emergency numbers on the refrigerator. It prevents them from having to do the research in a panicky situation and will provide for fast assistance. Make sure you do your research and gather a list of reputable services that will not take advance of an elder person. Also, find businesses that run 24/7 for emergencies.
Overall, outsourcing some monthly maintenance services and adding some key features to a senior’s home can greatly improve their quality of life. For many, staying in their residence as long as possible means living a longer, happier life. Talk to your senior family member to see which of these options best suit their lifestyle and needs. Then, research ways you can add meaning and fun to their life with the resources offered in their surrounding community.