Independence is often more appreciated during the later years of life, which is why many older adults prefer to age in place. In fact, AARP cites research showing approximately 90 percent of people 65 and older prefer to do this for as long as possible. But there are some things that can make it less safe for an older loved one to age in place without some assistance. Here are six of them.
1. More Demanding Household Tasks
Arthritis, reduced muscle strength, and difficulty with balance and coordination are a few of the age-related issues that could make it challenging for seniors to handle more demanding household tasks. There’s also the possibility of serious injuries, especially when using lawn equipment or attempting more strenuous forms of lifting or reaching. By having family members or in-home caregivers help with these sorts of tasks, seniors can stay safe while still keeping up with household obligations.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading at-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
2. Cognitive Decline
Even if dementia isn’t part of the equation, cognitive abilities often decrease to some extent with age. Aging in place without assistance can be less safe if your loved one is having some issues keeping track of daily tasks such as taking medication. With situations like this, help from professional or family caregivers can increase safety by:
• Providing reminders to take medications as directed
• Helping with daily routines
• Offering gentle reminders about things on the stove and other immediate risks
3. Fall Risks
Falls send nearly three million seniors to emergency rooms in the United States each year, according to the National Council on Aging. If your loved one is having some difficulty mitigating fall risks at home, having an extra set of eyes and hands could be very much appreciated. Family members or in-home caregivers can identify potential slip and fall risks such as loose rugs and make sure the home has safety features such as anti-slip mats for the bathroom.
4. Loneliness & Isolation
As adults get older, it becomes increasingly common to lose spouses or have grown children no longer living nearby. Situations like these increase the risk of loneliness and isolation for seniors. This can be unsafe, since fewer interactions means an increased risk of cognitive decline or depression, which can affect overall health and wellbeing. In-home caregivers and family members can minimize such issues by providing companionship and, when necessary, transportation to encourage a more active social life.
For families living in Fair Oaks, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
5. Unhealthy Meal Choices
Seniors living alone may reach a point where they opt for meals that are more convenient than healthy. This can be a problem for seniors if their diet lacks sufficient nutrients, increases blood sugar levels, or contributes to weight gain. By having some help, your loved one can eat well-balanced meals, get some assistance with grocery shopping and preparing meals, and be encouraged to exercise regularly to avoid weight gain and reduce related health risks.
6. Stairs & Other Potential Home Obstacles
An experienced in-home caregiver can help your loved one avoid potential issues with stairs and other home features that could be problematic. Family members can assist with such issues as well by pulling together resources and helping your loved one determine what kind of home modifications to consider to increase safety.
To successfully age in place, some seniors require the help of professional caregivers. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Fair Oaks elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (916) 485-4663 today.