A top priority for people as they age is to remain living in the comfort of their own home. This is where they feel the most comfortable.
Most aging adults, if given the option, wish to remain in their home, living independently for as long as possible. One of the most important aspects of being able to remain at home is safety. For more information about aging in place, click HERE.
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A really wonderful tool for added safety of your loved one is this Smart Watch with GPS and Fall Alert. I recently was able to interview Erin Thorckmorton to discuss safety in the home of aging adults. She is an occupational therapist with Fox Rehabilitation, located in Northern Virginia.
Commonly Found Safety Hazards in the Home
As you or your loved on ages in place, it is important to evaluate the safety risks there may be in the home. One of the biggest risks is fall hazards. As we age, we can become less stable on our feet. Below is a list of the most common fall hazards that can be found in the home.
- Area Rugs
- Clutter on the Floor
- Poor lighting
Additionally, there may be other risks such as the need for medical equipment, or improper medical equipment. This could be for someone that has balance issue. Perhaps they have a cane for walking, but are actually in need of a walker.
Adaptive Equipment, Devices and Home Modification
As you age in place, it is a good idea to modify your home, if possible, to fit your changing physical needs. One of the most hazardous areas in the home is the bathroom. Most falls in the home occur here. It is also one of the easiest areas of the home to modify. The following list are some simple adjustments that can be made in your home to help make it safer.
- Shower Seat
- Transfer Tub Bench
- 3-in-1 Commode
- Grab Bars in Shower or near Toilet
- Handrails in Entry Way
- Ramps to Front Entry Way
Helpful Tips for Aging in Place
As you or your loved one ages in place, mobility is another important aspect of daily living. One way to help maintain mobility is to exercise. This could be as simple as going for walks and working on sitting and standing.
If you notice that doing any of your daily activities have become more of a challenge, or you are causing pain, you should visit your health care provider. They will be able to evaluate you as well as refer you to a physical or occupational therapist.
You do not have to be injured to visit an occupational therapist. Additionally, they may be the best person to help you come up with alternate ways to achieve your daily goals. Mobility and exercise should be determined on a case by case evaluation as everyone ages differently.
To WATCH my INTERVIEW with Erin Throckmorton, Occupational therapist CLICK BELOW!
To read more about caring for Alzheimer’s and Dementia in the home CLICK HERE