It should come as no surprise that the majority of Americans have no desire to ever live in a retirement community, assisted living facility, or nursing home. However, it is also true that in their middle-ages, most Americans can not fathom experiencing physical or mental decline that would require them to need around-the-clock care. These facilities exist for those who require the care and do not have families that can support the care required. Facilities are great for providing care for those who need it and offering a reduced-stress living environment where the majority of needs are tended to. For some, it is just a nice way to spend time being catered on. For those who prefer to live in their own homes, however, the idea of leaving home can be terrifying and stressful.
For those who face physical impairment, limited mobility, and cognitive decline, staying home may become a safety concern that limits their ability to remain home and maintain their independence. To help keep your loved one safe at home for as long as possible, join us in today’s post for some safety tips that will help.
Implement fall prevention efforts.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries in the home and often result in limiting mobility that forces an elderly loved one to spend time in a skilled nursing facility, rehab, or nursing home. Help mitigate risks by implementing fall prevention methods. A few things you can do to help prevent falls include:
- Make clear paths throughout the home
- Tack down rugs
- Install handrails on all stairs, in the bathroom, and other places your loved one struggles to maintain balance
- Perform routine inspections on mobility equipment — canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, etc.
- Ensure medication is being used properly
- Tie up cords or other trip hazards
- Keep commonly used items at a level that is easy to access
- Minimize pets that play around feet
- Immediately clear ice, snow, and debris from porch and walkway
A home health agency can help you with a home evaluation and identify any hazards while offering solutions on how to make the home safer.
Use durable medical equipment.
As we discussed in our previous blog, durable medical equipment is made specifically to make homes safer while accommodating limited mobility and physical limitations. Some examples of how they can make a home safer include:
- Toilet risers and over-the-toilet handles reduce falls
- Mobility devices including walker, wheelchair, or scooter makes mobility safer
- Respiratory devices prevent fatigue and improve overall wellness
- Hospital beds prevent skin breakdown and reduce falls
- Chair lifts and transfer devices prevent falls and injuries for care providers
A home health agency can help educate clients and their family members about the many uses and safe operation of durable medical equipment. When your loved one has a homecare companion, they can ensure consistent, proper use of DME to reduce injury.
Install medical alert systems.
Medical alert systems are designed to be your independent loved one’s call for help in the event that something does happen. Medical alert devices come in many forms that can include home monitoring systems, voice-activated response systems, pendant buttons, or scheduled calls from agencies. Medical alert systems do not help prevent falls, injuries, or medical compromise, but they do help to keep your loved one’s home safe by offering a call for help. Nationwide, many elderly people fall or suffer a medical emergency and suffer severe consequences due to the inability to call for help and days passing between visits from loved ones.
Home health agencies offer medical alert response in addition to regular scheduled visits and client check-ins. All of this can be in addition to monitoring the safety of the home and medical conditions to identify concerns before they cause problems.
Enlist the services of an in-home caregiver.
In-home caregiver services provide optimal safety for your loved one. With a watchful eye and helpful hands, your loved one can remain safely at home for much longer than being alone. Home health services offer variety and flexibility beyond what facilities can. Whether your loved one needs someone to check in on them and help with light housekeeping services or they need around the clock care and management of complex medical equipment, or anything in between, home health agencies can provide exactly what they need.
Angel on Call Can Help With it All!
At Angels on Call Homecare, we provide a full menu of services for our clients and their families throughout New York. We believe that home is the best place to be and want to help your loved one remain in theirs as long as possible. We provide scheduled home care services, in addition to respite care, hospice care, and post-hospitalization transition care. Whatever your need, we can provide and angel to watch over you. Visit us online to see all of our services and contact us today to schedule your in-home evaluation.