Photo courtesy of Humana.com
Today's seniors are staying healthier and more active than any previous generation. With the cost of assisted living on the rise, many Houston area seniors are making the decision to "age in place". After all, the home represents not just memories, but a life that has been built together.
Sometimes, only a few changes are necessary to make it possible for seniors to remain in their homes safely and comfortably.
There are resources available, such as Humana's "Feeling Right at Home" publication which is a practical guide for independent living. The free and attractive hard back illustrated publication is full of room-by-room suggestions for making the home a safe place. Convenience and safety are at the heart of every suggestion. The primary care physician can also provide guidance. Here are but a few suggestions:
- In the kitchen, move heavier items, or the things you use every day, to lower shelves.
- Mark expiration dates, on food products, with a bold marker and check them monthly.
- In all rooms, reduce the clutter and place non-skid mats under all rugs to prevent tripping.
- Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector near the bedroom door.
- Keep a flashlight with extra batteries in the bedside table.
- Make sure emergency numbers are posted in multiple areas of the home.
- Put a cordless phone in the bathroom for emergencies.
- Install a portable grab bar in the shower.
- Place a non-slip mat or decals on the floor of the shower or tub.
- Use night lights throughout the home, preferably ones with sensors to come on and go off.
- Create a medicine station to keep all medication in one place and out of the bathroom as heat and steam can affect a medicine's shelf life. Dispose of all out-of-date medication.
In fact, a new kind of specialist assists older Americans stay in their homes. The Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) is a certified expert professional that is trained in strategies and techniques for designing, building, and altering attractive and barrier-free living environments. The AARP provides an excellent video on how a CAPS specialist can assist in the aging-in-place process.
For more info:
Contact Humana at http://www.feelingrightathome.org/aging-in-place.aspx
Contact AARP at http://assets.aarp.org/external_sites/caregiving/multimedia/CAPS_VNR.html
Photo courtesy of Maria Carme Balcells, Spain