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Tips on Remaining in Your Home as You Age

Save Money and Retain Your Independence with Some of These Tips

There are a lot of unknowns that we face as we age. “Will we have enough money for retirement or old age care?” “How will we maintain our independence?” “How will I impact my children/family?” Many of us would like to remain in our homes for as long as we can, for both comfort and financial stability. We’ve put together some helpful tips on how you can make your home a safe environment for your current or future needs.

Safety:

It’s all for not if you aren’t safe in your home. There are a number of factors that contribute to in home safety. Your mobility and health are significant factors, so we’ll take a look at that first.

Physical Safety:

Physical safety means mobility. Can you and your loved one safely enter and move about your home? Steps and staircases can be dangerous to those with walkers or those who are a bit unsteady on their feet. And they can be downright impossible for those in wheelchairs. Installing sturdy railings or chairlifts can enable you to remain at home in those situations.

Make sure home is well lit. Dim areas like stairways or hallways can cause tripping hazards. Rooms that are cluttered and dimly lit set individuals up for potential falls as well. Illuminate areas that are pathways through the house, and high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Another aspect of mobility and physical safety is maneuverability. Clear paths through rooms and the home to eliminate tight spaces. Be aware of floor coverings and things that can be trip hazards. Having the right shoes can be a part of dealing with hard floors, throw rugs, and carpets. In some cases, an Occupational Therapist can work with you in your own home to teach you how to be mindful as you perform daily functions and move throughout your space.

Optimize storage and access of essentials like medicines, foods, and household supplies. If they’re currently. In upper cabinets or hard to reach places, they’ll need to be relocated. Daily Aids like Reaching Sticks can be helpful as well.

Parts of our homes and apartments that we use every day might seem safe, but they can actually present a big risk. Bathrooms, with wet surfaces, and standard toilets, tubs, and showers can cause potential slips and falls. Consider Bath Safety aids such as transfer benches, shower benches and stools, portable commodes and toilet safety frames.

The last part of physical safety is communication, planning for when things do go wrong so that you are prepared in case the worst happens. Make sure that there is a method to communicate with emergency services, and/or a loved one in case of a fall, or other medical emergency.

Mental Safety:

Memory loss can be an unfortunate aspect of aging. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of or slight memory loss can still remain in the comfort of their own homes and apartments if special care is taken.

If medications are a part of your life or that of your loved one, clearly organizing and labeling medications is essential. On top of this, written instructions help to ensure that there is no confusion when it comes to remembering to take medication correctly. Detailed instructions and reminders are also essential for other tasks like cooking.

A calendar combined with automation for the payment of bills can help you or your loved one effectively manage finances while remaining at home. By automating bills, you both ensure that they are paid on time, and not accidentally paid more than once. Having a loved one or a professional help manage investments and finances can get the most out of your savings.

An important aspect of mental health is feeling connected and engaged with the outside world. Hanging pictures and perusing photo albums are also helpful in keeping memories alive and brains active. Even if one is confined to their home or apartment, speaking with friends and loved ones can help stave off feelings of isolation or depression.

Independence:

The last essential for safely remaining in your home, is to make sure that help is available when and where it is needed. If you or your loved one can no longer drive, transportation to doctor’s appointments, the grocery store, etc. is essential. Delivery services can also help to restock food, medicine and household supplies. Additionally, chores such as household cleaning and doing laundry, can be difficult to tackle for older friends and loved ones. Consider a laundry service or hiring a little trusted help with errands, cooking, & cleaning periodically through the week.

Security

Now that we’ve covered safety, security is another big aspect of ensuring that an aging individual can remain in their home safely. Scams often target older populations as they are less knowledgeable when it comes to technology, and generally more likely to fall for financial scams. Education can help reduce an individual’s susceptibility. Knowing what questions to ask, what information is generally not asked for over the phone, etc. can help safeguard an individual’s financial and physical security.

Updating locks to eliminate the threat of lost keys, or weak points of entry is also essential. This will not only heighten the physical security of a home or apartment but provide peace of mind for those who live there. Security systems can also be a great addition, but these do require a bit of training to reduce the risk of false alarms, which can incur penalties from law enforcement or alarm services.

Community Programs and Resources

Do a bit of research into the surrounding area for community programs and resources available to you or your loved one. Local libraries, churches, programs, and nonprofits often have programs which will provide food, socialization, security, and welfare checks to the elderly. These programs are often available at no charge and can make a world of difference by breaking up the week, providing a bit of social connection, or essentials like food or help around the home.

Reassess the Situation About Every Six Months

Our health, our finances, these can fluctuate and change. If you or a loved one are remaining in your home as you age, it’s a good practice to evaluate your situation on a regular basis. This will help enable you to address potential challenges or changes before they become a problem or road-block.

In conclusion, be sure to include your healthcare professionals for their insight and experience.
Staying home is a wonderful option. Our hope is that this article has helped you think through the details so you can weigh the risks and rewards.

~All the best from your Staff at Pacific Medical Supply!

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