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Although it can seem difficult, keeping your senior loved one safe in their own home doesn’t have to be. There are many options available to those who wish to continue living in their homes as they age. Below are considerations for increased independence in the bedroom, multi-story homes, the bathroom, and the kitchen.
In the Bedroom
Keeping your senior loved one safe in their bedroom can be done a number of ways. Installing clap lights or night lights is useful for some as night vision recedes with age. That way your loved one can do simple things like walk safely down the hall for a glass of water in the middle of the night. Depending on their sleep habits and needs, installing railings on the bed are a good solution to keep them from falling during rest or while getting in and out of bed. Adjustable tables for beds that fold away for easy storage can make it easier for your loved one if they want to spend the day in bed. Providing simple conveniences like this can increase confidence for your loved one and protect their independence.
Speak first to your loved one and possibly doctor about using any stairs in their home. Having a clear perspective of your loved one’s needs and wants, along with any necessary medical insight, allows you to facilitate any necessary changes with respect and clarity. While there are solutions to limited mobility like stair lifts and in-home elevators, those solutions are extremely expensive. Sometimes, it’s safer for a senior loved one to move to a room on the main floor of the house. If you’re currently investigating your options, here’s a useful list of stair solutions.
In the Bathroom
Up to 80% of falls in the home occur in the bathroom. Unforgiving surfaces, combined with water, simply don’t equal a safe environment for those who may not move as quickly or freely as before. Shower grips or handrails, properly secured towel racks, and slip proof tub liners or shower mats are all safety precautions that can make the difference between an injury and a close call. Encourage your loved one to store all toiletries within easy reach if they don’t already, even if that means having multiples of the same products. Finally, consider a shower chair for added safety in the shower, as well as a raised toilet seat or grab bars to create more leverage for sitting and standing.
In the Kitchen
Rather than letting your loved one stubbornly insist on using a step stool, consider helping them rearrange the kitchen for easier daily use. Place items that are used frequently within close reach and those that are not in the upper shelves. You can also purchase a “reacher” to provide more access in the kitchen. Just like in the bathroom, tile or wood floors in kitchens can be dangerous fall hazards. Placing slip proof mats in key areas like doorways or under the sink will help prevent falls. Finally, encourage your loved one to use a kitchen timer and make sure they have a fire extinguisher they can use, as fire related injury is the sixth leading cause of death for those over the age of 65.
Emergency Response Systems
Lastly, helping your senior loved one find an appropriate emergency response system for their needs is an extra step of protection that can keep seniors independent and ease your worry as well. Emergency response systems are often worn as a pendant around the neck, but can also be attached to belt buckles and wheelchairs. Here’s a helpful guide of what to consider when selecting an emergency response system.
While helping your senior loved one stay independent at home can have benefits for both you and them, it can often have high costs. If you need extra money to make this happen for your loved one, consider a life settlement or viatical. If your senior loved one still maintains a life insurance policy they no longer need, did you know they can sell all or a portion of that policy for more than the cash surrender value? This is called a life settlement, or viatical. Contact Life Settlement Advisors today to learn more about the life settlement process or see if you pre-qualify.
Janet and Joe celebrated 50 years of marriage last year. Joe’s health has deteriorated and he is now restricted to a wheelchair. The couple’s children have suggested they hire someone to come in and help Janet with Joe’s daily needs.
Since the last recession, their financial resources have been stretched. Joe discovered he could sell his life insurance policy for $115,000. This allowed them to hire the necessary help.