June 14, 2021
Think of the countless tools you use every day – your phone, hairbrush, toothbrush – simple items, but ones you can’t imagine living without. For hundreds of seniors, there are basic assistive devices available that could mean the difference between living at home and moving to assisted living. However nearly half of seniors living at home aren’t using these very beneficial tools – despite the fact that costs are minimal, and these home safety tips for seniors can easily be implemented.
A recently available National Health and Aging Trends Study determined the ability of older adults to execute tasks such as rising unassisted from a seated position and walking, and found that thousands of the participants could benefit from assistive devices.
Not only that, but the likelihood of senior falls due to not using simple assistive devices is increased, bringing about hospitalizations, serious injury, and disability which could easily have been prevented. In fact, once these devices were made available to seniors, according to research, disability rates for seniors fell by 50%, combined with a decrease in pain levels and an increase in the capacity to perform activities of daily living independently.
Dr. Kenneth Lam, author of the study, explained, “It’s a technical problem which, unlike so much of aging, is actually solvable. In the hospital, I can order an M.R.I. and charge the system thousands of dollars. But down the road, that won’t help patients not fall. What happens when they get home?”
A program at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore is looking to change this by introducing inexpensive assistive tools to older adults. Through a few in-home visits by a repair specialist, nurse and occupational therapist, needs are identified and resolved. That could mean removing fall hazards, installing grab bars in the bathroom, or adding a raised toilet seat or shower chair. Small changes such as these can make a significant difference in an older adult’s capacity to manage activities of daily living safely and independently.
At Continuum, the leading provider of home care in St. Charles, MO and surrounding areas, we are pleased to offer in-home evaluations to recommend changes to the home environment that enhance safety and help seniors remain independent as well as in control. We are able to also help promote senior’s comfort, safety, and independence through services such as:
- Providing accompanied transportation for medical appointments, errands, and fun outings
- Preparing nutritious meals and ensuring adequate hydration for seniors
- Providing help and support as necessary with personal care needs for safe showering/bathing, getting dressed, etc.
- Maintaining an organized and tidy home
- And mor