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Prolonged Independent Senior Living Improves Quality of Life

 
As we age and enter our senior years living at home, we become comfortable, set in our ways and reluctant to make changes (even when they are necessary).  As seniors, we enjoy our independence and value our autonomy.  But the truth of the matter is, unless we take the necessary precautions and think ahead, the time we have in our homes may be cut short.  Whether for yourself or a senior loved one, take the necessary measures to delay relocation and maximize independent living.

Minimizing Healthcare Costs

Elder healthcare is expensive, be it senior home care, live-in caregivers or out-of-home services such as assisted living or retirement home residency.  The costs associated with keeping our senior loved ones safe can be taxing on their savings.  The more we can do to create and maintain a safe, supportive and enjoyable living experience in the home, the more we stave off the need for outside care.

Safety

Have a good look around the home.  Think of your elderly loved one’s safety as you make your way through each room.  Here are a few tips to get you started:
  • Remove all throw rugs to help prevent against trips and falls
  • Rearrange furniture where necessary to ensure easy navigation in each room
  • Make sure every staircase has a secure railing to hold on to
  • Install grab bars next to toilets and on the walls of showers and bathtubs
  • Buy a fold-down shower seat
  • Insert non-slip floor mats in the showers
  • Install efficient lighting throughout the house (plug in additional lamps where necessary, and use higher wattage light bulbs where you can)
  • Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis
  • Avoid the use of space heaters

Monitoring

To properly address more unlikely incidents such as sudden falls or panic situations where your senior loved one needs help fast, you may want to consider setting up a medical alert system.  Many systems come with a pendant the senior can wear around his or her neck at all times.  When emergency strikes, help is just a button away.

Chores and Daily Responsibilities

When the time comes for more assistance with some of life’s more regular and routine chores, there are a number of useful services available.  For example, if your senior loved one lives in a house, he or she may become unable (or unwilling) to shovel the driveway in winter or mow the grass in summer.  Hire a home maintenance company on a contract basis to service the house.  A few other helpful services include:

Social Stimulation and Physical Activities

A key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle at home is the inclusion of various social and physical activities.  You may want to check into local community centers or senior centers to see what they offer by way of daily or weekly activities for seniors.  Or, arrange for professionals to visit the home such as a personal companion, personal trainer for seniors, geriatric massage therapist, physiotherapist, Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi instructor.  A healthy senior is a happy senior.
The more you can do to preserve the independence of your senior loved one, the better.  Make sure everyone feels comfortable with the arrangement and commit to implementing the proper in-home aids to make certain the security of the living environment.  Prolonged independence, when executed safely and properly, ensures maximum quality of life for your elderly loved ones while they are still able to live at home.
 
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