Everyone has seen the television commercials that show how important a medical alert system can be for the elderly. If you fall or have a medical emergency, these devices can actually save your life or limit the negative impact of the accident on your health. While seniors living alone should have these devices as a backup, it is also important to do everything within reason to prevent these types of emergency situations from arising by in the first place, by age-proofing your surroundings. The following practical ideas are great for giving elderly people a greater chance of staying safe and comfortable in their own homes:
Because of arthritis or stiffness, many seniors struggle with everyday tasks. Just a few changes around the house might make your life more comfortable and reduce the amount of pain experienced:
• Reorganize cabinets in the bath and kitchen so that often needed items are lower and readily available.
• Replace lower wattage light bulbs with brighter ones to make it easier to read labels.
• Keep magnifying glasses at strategic places throughout the house.
• Rearrange furniture so that paths are clear of obstruction and easy to maneuver.
• Consider renting a stairlift if your home is more than one floor.
• Replace soft chairs with firmer versions to make rising easier.
• Replace glass dishes and drink ware with plastic versions or consider disposable varieties.
To Make Life Safer
In order to keep your current lifestyle, it is a good idea to do a home safety inspection. Have wiring and plumbing checked by a professional and have any problems repaired immediately. The following are also good ideas for seniors living by themselves:
• Install handrails to assist with rising and sitting and along hallways.
• Give away all small throw rugs as these are fall hazards.
• Have a family member or friend help fill a weekly organizer for medications.
• Remove the thresholds from all doorways and have uneven flooring leveled.
• Ensure that any smoke and gas detectors are kept in working order.
• Have a peep hole installed in doors if they are not already there and always use a dead bolt lock every time you enter or exit the home.
• Place textured strips on any surfaces that are slippery when wet, such as the front porch.
• Consider hiring part time help for jobs that require climbing, lifting or moving about on uneven surfaces.
Being careful about your surroundings can save great heartache in the future. All of these precautions can reduce the likelihood of having to use your medical alert and ending up in a hospital or nursing home, and that is the goal of every elderly person who lives alone. A little pre-planning may keep you living independently much longer.
About the Author:
Claire Bradshaw has experience of caring for her elderly grandmother and knows the peace of mind that a medical alert can bring. She has seen firsthand the importance of age-proofing a home to make it safer for an elderly person. Claire writes for a website that compares products from different stairlift companies, with the aim of helping people maintain their independence in their own homes.