Accommodating the Elderly with Reduced Mobility
The natural aging process can slowly reduce your vision, hearing and even your mobility, robbing from you your once active lifestyle. Before contacting local nursing homes or checking them into hospice care, there are ways to improve your aging relative’s quality of life and help them remain independent in their home.
Limited mobility makes it difficult to get around and any obstacle in the way can create a huge problem. Luckily, there is a relatively quick way to avoid a possible slip and fall. If you are the caregiver go through the home room by room with your aging senior and see what they are willing to sell or simply move to another location. Wide open doorways and clear paths to a sofa, table, and bed are essential. This is especially beneficial to seniors who use a mobility device like a cane, walker or a wheelchair to get around.
Modifying the Home
Most seniors are not willing to admit they need someone to help them. In order for them to remain independent and give you peace of mind, modifications to the home are critical. For example, if you have several steps outside the home that lead to the front door, replace them with a ramp. Inside, if the structure permits, widening doorways and adding things like grab bars in the hallway will give seniors a way to feel secure. In the bathroom, adding a seat to a walk in shower and installing a handheld sprayer will allow them to wash up in a safe environment. For using the toilet, a raised seat is a quick addition that reduces the need for the elderly to lower themselves more than they can comfortably achieve alone. And, it also makes it easier for seniors to get back up independently. If there is a second-floor, climbing stairs may prove quite difficult and many older people may simply avoid it altogether. Thankfully, you have a few options. You can have a stair chair installed that glides up to the top, or you can move their bedroom downstairs so they no longer need to venture upstairs. It’s also important that they are able to get in and out of bed with ease and lie asleep without the risk of falling out of bed. A bed rail can help with all these concerns and is very easy to assemble.
Slips and Falls
Probably the biggest concern for relatives of a senior with reduced mobility is that they will encounter a slip and fall and not be able to contact someone. Falling for a younger person may cause bruising, whereas with a senior even a minor fall can cause a sprain, fracture or even a break in the bone. With advancements in technology, there are measures you can take to ensure that it never happens. First, you can have a high-tech alarm system installed so that you can monitor not only your relative but also the home. Second, you can have them wear a bracelet or device around the neck to guarantee that if they need assistance quickly, local emergency services are on their way.
Growing older doesn’t have to take away a person’s dignity. There are so many ways to modify their home so that performing daily tasks and personal hygiene are made easier. With just a few changes to their home, seniors in relatively good health with reduced mobility can remain independent.