Updated: Apr 26
Is aging in place a safe option for seniors?
Spending retirement years in their home is an ideal choice. It allows seniors to stay in a comfortable and familiar environment. Plus, seniors will feel independent and secure. But this option also poses a few risks.
That said, take necessary home safety precautions. When you combine these steps with the assistance of a home health aide, you can create a safe home environment for aging retirees.
Combining Safety Precautions and Home Health Aide Services
Remove Trip Hazards to Prevent Falls
Falls are one of the major causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries in aging retirees. In fact, about 36 million retirees fall each year. This is according to the report by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).
As people advance in age, there will be physical changes. Declining vision is the most common. Some aging retirees may have difficulty seeing trip hazards which might lead to a fall. Additionally, due to decreased bone density and sensitive skin, recovery for seniors may take time.
So extra precautions must be observed:
Remove trip hazards like area rugs, clutter, low tables, and ottomans.
Check for wires or extension cords across the floor.
Create a more open environment. This is especially useful if you or a loved one is using a walker or wheelchair. Make sure that areas allow easy access and maneuverability.
Install stability bars in showers or near toilets. Adding rubber mats in the shower helps improve bathroom safety.
You can also consider the assistance of a home health aide.
In addition to maintaining the safety and cleanliness of the home, these professionals can also provide physical assistance with activities of daily living.
They can assist seniors in bathing, dressing, and toileting.
For example, if a senior wishes to go to the restroom, a health aide can provide assistance to prevent fall hazards in the bathroom.
Additionally, they can provide assistance with mobility devices. This way, potential trip hazards are avoided.
Trained and qualified registered nurses can assess safety risks. And they can quickly make simple recommendations in a senior's home for a safer environment.
Protection Against Fires
Fires are a risk in any household. Especially for seniors who live independently.
To protect against fires:
Install smoke detectors and make sure that you have fresh batteries at home.
Don't let candles burn unattended.
Check the electric cords of appliances. Replace frayed or damaged ones. Lastly, limit the number of cords plugged.
Always check the kitchen in case the stove is left on.
Having a home health aide around will help in checking for fire hazards much easier. For one, they provide companionship for seniors. This means they are always around and will be on the lookout for potential risks.
They can also assist in meal planning and preparation. So even if you or a senior loved one prefers to cook on their own, a health aide can double-check the stove in case it is left on.
With their assistance, other injuries will also be prevented.
Since they assist in meal preparation, health aides can also prevent knife injuries. And they can assist seniors in getting utensils, pots, or ingredients from high, hard-to-reach places.
Avoid Choking Hazards
As you or a loved one progresses through retirement, there will be a lot of physical changes. Tooth loss and poor dental status are among them. Unfortunately, these are associated with increased choking risk.
The assistance of a health aide can greatly lower the risk.
For one, they can prepare the right diet and avoid food that is hard to chew like steak, hotdogs, or popcorn. Plus, they can also assist seniors during mealtime.
A home health aide can:
Serve the meal within easy reach.
Check if you or your aging loved one needs assistance.
Offer to slice food into smaller pieces to prevent choking.
Open tightly sealed containers.
Offer other food if you or your senior parent have difficulty eating the prepared food.
Provide companionship during mealtime.
As previously mentioned, these professionals provide assistance in a senior's daily living activities. But they will not inhibit their independence.
Safe Medication Management
More than half of aging retirees ages 65 and up take four or more medications. That said, there's a risk of mixing up these prescription drugs or missing doses all together.
Taking medications correctly is essential. Not only will it help treat health conditions, but also prevent health hazards.
For example, if a senior forgets that they've already taken the medicine, they might take it again which can lead to overdosing.
That's why proper medication management is important. Here are some precautions and parts of medication management that a home health agency can manage:
Place all medications, vitamins, and supplements in one location.
Store all medication properly. This includes sorting medications weekly into daily AM & PM containers to avoid questioning of whether or not a dose has been taken.
Maintain an up-to-date medication list.
These professionals are also trained in measuring vitals. They can monitor your or your senior parent's daily health condition by taking their blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiration.
Will A Home Health Aide Assist in Creating A Healthier and Safer Home Environment?
As you or a loved one progresses in age, safety plans must be put in place. So take necessary precautions before an emergency happens.
Precautions can reduce fall risk, injuries, and health hazards. And with the assistance of a health aide, taking safety steps become much easier.
Unified Pledge Home Health provides a FREE consultation where you can ask questions and learn more about their services.
A registered nurse from a reputable home health agency will also perform a complementary in-home care assessment. With this assessment, you can decide what assistance you or your loved one may prefer.
Hiring professionals from Unified Pledge comes with the following advantages:
Level II FBI background checks of all staff
Driving history checks
Companions, health aides, LPNs are our direct employees and not independent contractors
Constant communication to patients, family, and care team
Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan