Staying with a senior citizen could be a little challenging for anyone. Aged people, who were once totally independent, are not used to depending on anyone. At least one in four elderly people have a fall each year. Over 40% have multiple falls, and over 30% of those who fall require medical attention.
Hence, taking care of them could be a little difficult. Whether they stay with you or all by themselves, there are ways to prepare yourself and their space to enable them to live independently while keeping them safe.
Here are some changes and additions that you could make around to take better care of your old-aged loved ones:
1. Small changes that could save you the trouble:
- Eliminate clutter such as extra furniture and decor to make moving around more comfortable as well as safer.
- Tuck all cables and wires to avoid falls.
- Have more night lights in all critical places around the house, especially near the bathrooms, corridors, near the steps and kitchen.
2. Showers and Bathrooms:
Furnishing the shower and toilet walls with sturdy grab bars could support the full weight of an adult and work as a great safety feature that increases independence and security among older adults.
- A shower chair, bench or stool is a great way to avoid falls in the shower area.
- Invest in non-skid mats for the toilets and shower.
- Replacing regular toilet seat with a raised-height model would put lesser pressure on the legs and provide more safety in case of falls.
- Invest in chair commodes if walking to the bathroom is a challenge for the patient. These are chairs fitted with a toilet pan that is built into the frame of the chair. Placing them near the bed too could facilitate easy toileting and reduce the risk of falls for those who cannot walk around much.
3. Get Professional Help
You are not always available around your loved ones, but some elderly people depend on others for their most basic needs. For such cases, hiring a competent professional through a reliable source could be a great idea. The trained staff could not only take good care, but they can also be a great companion for seniors.
4. Invest in appropriate Mobility Aids:
Most elderly people become equipment dependent on getting around the place comfortably. It is critical to get them a suitable walking device to enhance independence. One can visit the website of various professionals to read about the most commonly used equipment for walking, or movement help are:
- Walking Canes: These are the easiest and lightest amongst all mobility aids. They provide balance for those who are looking for a mild level of walking assistance to get around the house. However, canes are not significant to lean on.
- Walker: A Walker brings balance to those who have a problem in walking independently and need a sturdy weight-bearing mobility aid. Most walkers have handbrakes and let the user stay in an elevated position while keeping them safe.
- Wheelchair: A wheelchair assists those who cannot walk with or without assistance. Wheelchairs help people to become more mobile and freer. Different types of wheelchairs could be useful for various reasons by different people. Before buying a wheelchair, it is important to understand the patient’s requirements. Different wheelchairs available are manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, sports wheelchairs, standing wheelchairs, and customized wheelchairs.
5. Regular Exercise:
This is a popular fact that people who exercise stay fit and healthy. The same applies to older people as well- exercising regularly keeps them active and protects them from diseases. Light exercises like slow walking or swimming could be great for rejuvenation and fitness. One can start with light exercise and then steadily increase the level.
6. Physical Therapy:
Also known as Physiotherapy, this therapy supports older adults to gain strength and confidence required to live life independently. Rehabilitative exercises with a trained physical therapist would help seniors deal with the fear of tripping or falling.