August 31, 2020

5 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Accessibility for Family Members With Immobility

Filed under: Aging in Place,Mobility,Senior Safety — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 8:55 am

Senior woman being helped with mobility

Courtesy of Anica Oaks

Making your home mobility-friendly is important for loved ones who require the use of special equipment or mobility aids to navigate their living space. Fortunately, your house can become more accessible for these mobility needs by making relatively minor and cost-efficient adjustments.

Widen Doorways

Some homes are structured with wide doorways that accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other types of equipment used for mobility. Other homes may need to widen the doorways of at least a few rooms for this purpose. Fortunately, doorways can be widened or even removed to accommodate a family member’s mobility appliances as needed. Not all rooms would necessarily need to have a wider doorway, but just those that are used routinely by loved ones with mobility needs. These might include the person’s bedroom, a nearby bathroom, and the living room or family room.

Open Up the Living Space

You can also arrange accessible rooms to be more open in terms of moving furniture closer to the walls or buying smaller furniture pieces. Clear any barriers between rooms that will be accessed with the help of mobility equipment. Wide open spaces make any room or area more accessible, including hallways, foyers, and exits.

Remove Clutter

Everyday clutter like shoes, newspapers, or toys typically don’t bother most of us, as we learn to step over these items or pick them up when encountered. However, family members who are using mobility devices may not be able to easily get around or remove things in their way. Each day check for items that may be incidentally strewn in their path so that you can make the way clear for crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a stair elevator.

Designate Specific Areas for Mobility

Remind family members to keep certain areas of the home accessible at all times to loved ones who are mobility-impaired. Get everyone involved in picking up after themselves and clearing the regular pathways of family members who rely on equipment to move from one area to another. Discarded clothes and towels in the bathroom should be placed in the laundry bin instead of left lying on the floor. Pet toys should be kept to a certain area for that location only.

Install Handrails

People who use mobility devices may benefit from installed handrails in strategic places. Hallways, bathrooms, and eating areas are prime locations for handrails that can be used to assist mobility if needed.

 

Caring for loved ones who require mobility assistance can be facilitated with steps like these. Help your family members who depend on mobility aids to navigate the home comfortably and safely.

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August 11, 2020

How to Make the Garage Safer for the Elderly

Filed under: Mobility,Senior Safety — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 11:12 am

Garage Safety for Seniors

By Brooke Chaplan

Whether you are aging, or you have parents who are living with you, it is important to make the home safe for everyone. Because older people can slip and fall easier, it is a big deal to eliminate trip hazards. Ensuring the elderly can navigate the garage may be vital to some households. We give you four ways you can improve your garage area to make it more convenient and accessible for older family members.

Chair lifts

Using a lift or a chair rail can significantly improve the ability to get into the house from the garage. This change is especially important when you have several steps leading into the home or a split-level house. These lifts allow older members to sit while toting groceries or other purchases. These items can allow people to stay at home instead of going to an assisted living center.

Wider doors

Larger doors give the elderly room to use walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. Even if the person does not use these items, there may be a time when they are necessary. Installing bigger openings provides ample access for visitors and household members who use walking aids. The larger doors are also helpful for allowing people to get through the door with an arm full of items without knocking them to the floor.

Clear and clean paths

A flat, dirt-free surface is important to keep your family members from falling. A concrete floor with texture or tile overlay can provide the footing older people need to feel secure when walking and prevent slips. Your trusted, local concrete company can provide you with several options to consider for your home, budget, and needs. Keeping at least ten feet of space between the wall and a wheelchair accessible vehicle will give people plenty of room to turn around and get in and out of the van safely. Another idea is to use storage shelves that you can anchor to the walls. Putting belongings in clear totes will make it quicker to find the things you need.

Sufficient lighting

All the above tips will do no good without the proper lighting. High-intensity fixtures and LED lights will provide enough Lumens to brighten up the entire garage. As we age, we may not see as well, so upgrading the lights and cleaning them often may be the biggest help.

Taking care of yourself and older family members means thinking about every area of the home. The garage is one place many people forget about when updating. This area is very important because many people do not have a way to get to a phone if they fall unless they have a cell phone in their hand.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She recommends looking into window installation near you. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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March 10, 2020

4 Ways to Make Your Lawn and Yard Safe for the Elderly

Filed under: Mobility,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 1:38 pm

lawn safety tips for seniors

By Brooke Chaplan

If you are a senior or if you have older individuals in your home, then it is important to make the lawns safer. An older person can easily get injured outside a home, leading to fractured bones or other problems. However, this does not mean that the elderly have to be confined to the indoors. There are many ways for the elderly to maintain mobility and freedom of movement as they age. Here are some of the ways to make your lawns safer for elderly individuals.

Removal of Debris and Clutter

Walk outside to determine if there is a lot of clutter and debris on your property so that you can remove the dangerous objects to make it safer. Some of the things that you may find are old garden hoses or tools along with broken toys and tree branches. Pick up the items to determine what you want to keep, but also, plan on throwing any junk away so that an older person will not trip and fall outside your home.

Add Patios and Pathways

You can make it easier for an elderly individual to walk outside by adding pathways or patios to the lawns of your property. Hardscaping can include using cement, stone, or wood materials that will make it simpler to walk outside without slipping on wet grass or mud. Decks and pathways will also make your property more attractive throughout the year.

Make Sure that the Soil Is Safe to Walk On

While walking outside, you may notice that some areas of the soil are unstable, leading to sliding or falling. This type of issue is especially dangerous for older individuals who can become injured easily. Fortunately, you can hire a company that specializes in soil stabilization, who can create a firm surface on your lawns to make it safer to walk on. With a pressure grouting process, you can have a lawn with packed soil and no dangerous air spaces.

Eliminating Dangerous Pests

It is essential to eliminate the dangerous pests on your property so that an elderly individual isn’t bitten by an animal or stung by an insect. You should eliminate the standing water on a property so that there are fewer mosquitoes, and you should also make sure that there aren’t a lot of honeybees or wasps outside your home. An exterminator can inspect a property and apply pest-control treatments on a regular basis to eliminate spiders and insects. You may also need to have wildlife animals removed from your property to avoid problems from bites or scratches.

If you don’t understand how to check your home’s lawns for safety problems, then you can hire a landscaper to inspect your property.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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January 14, 2020

How Caregivers Can Protect Seniors from Phone and Internet Scams

Filed under: Finances,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 2:56 pm

As a caregiver, you are committed to keeping the seniors in your life safe from harm. With an increasing number of scams targeting seniors, it is more important than ever to learn how to stay safe.

Seniors lose billions of dollars a year due to these scams and many of these cases are never reported due to embarrassment or shame.

Caregivers can help protect against scams by teaching seniors the warning signs. Every call or email should be scrutinized to make sure that it is legitimate.

Common Scams to Look Out For
There are a ton of phone and internet scams that target seniors. Remember scammers are professionals. They know just what to say and how to say it to convince you into doing something you would not normally do.

Here are some of the common scams to look out for and warn your seniors about.

  • Romance/Sweetheart scams: these scams use online dating sites or social media to trick seniors into a romantic relationship before asking them for money
  • Lottery/Sweepstakes scams: this involves an email or call that claims the person won something (a new car or money) or is the beneficiary of an inheritance, they are manipulated and coerced to believe taxes must be paid ahead of time to receive the funds
  • IRS scams: scammers pretend to be the IRS, Law Enforcement and FBI agents stating there is a warrant out for your arrest and ask for payment by gift cards or money transfers
  • Grandparent scams: this is a call from a scammer that claims your grandchild or family member is in trouble and asks for immediate payment to help them
  • Text Message or Voicemail scams: these scams may ask for personal information or leave threatening messages

Tips to Keep Seniors Safe
A good rule of thumb to live by is that if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. So make sure seniors know a sudden call or email which claims you’ve won money is likely a scam.

Scammers often set up fake social media accounts and take time to earn trust before they ask for money. Make sure seniors know they should never wire money, purchase gift cards, or send other expensive items to someone they don’t actually know, even if they have talked online.

Show seniors examples of phishing emails that mimic the IRS or Social Security Administration. Get them into the habit of checking every link before they click on them or open attachments, as they could be malicious. Also they should have the actual phone numbers of these important agencies so they can reach out directly with questions instead of responding to an unexpected email or call.

Make sure seniors know not to provide information via phone, especially a call which again they did not initiate themselves. It is always better to hang up and call the organization directly.

Being proactive about monitoring phone calls, emails, and text messages is the best way to prevent falling for a scam. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a scam, report any concerns to your local law enforcement agency.

Sponsored by: Suncoast Credit Union

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December 5, 2019

4 Ways Seniors Can Have a Safe and Fun Holiday Event

Filed under: Aging,Senior Safety,Seniors — seniorlivingguide @ 5:27 pm

Seniors Can Have a Safe and Fun Holiday Event

By Brooke Chaplan

The holidays are often filled with countless parties and dinner plans that fill us with happiness and cheer. However, many seniors can feel left out at this time of year due to mobility issues or the fact that they live alone. Keep these four ideas in mind to make sure your loved ones enjoy the holidays to the fullest:

Arrange Transportation Ahead of Time

If your elderly loved ones are planning to attend a holiday event this year, it’s important to keep their safety in mind. Start planning for this upcoming event by arranging transportation to and from the event ahead of time. If you aren’t able to provide transportation, consider sending them in a cab, Uber, or Lyft. Similarly, if you have any friends or family members that are attending, ask them to carpool.

Plan for Caregivers to Attend

Seniors that need to have their caregivers with them throughout the day should be accompanied by them to any holiday celebrations. Make sure that any holiday plans fit into the caregiver’s schedule so that your elderly loved ones will be taken care of regardless of whether you are there or not. With the holidays around the corner, it’s best to ask the caretaker well in advance so they can fit it into their schedule.

Throw a Holiday Party Yourself

For many family members, the best and safest holiday event is the one they throw themselves. With the right party plan, you can give your loved ones a holiday experience they won’t forget while making sure the environment is as safe as possible. With all your loved ones close by, your elderly family members will feel the true spirit of this holiday season.

Invite Other Family and Friends

If your senior loved ones want to go to a particular holiday event, consider inviting the entire family. Depending on the location of your holiday event, it may be a good idea to invite other family and friends to the event. For example, if your community is hosting a holiday light show, bringing all your friends and family members to the event is a great way to make sure your elderly loved ones are surrounded with as much love as possible at this time of year.

Make sure the seniors in your life are able to enjoy the holiday season this year. Keep these four ideas in mind to find new ways to engage them this season.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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December 3, 2019

Visiting Seniors This Holiday Season

Filed under: Mobility,Senior Safety — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 4:12 pm

Grabcessories

Sponsored by: GrabAccessories.com

Did you know that during the holiday’s many folks take advantage of visiting with their older family members and loved ones?

It’s an ideal time to spend time with them. It’s also a good time to see how they are doing in their daily lives and home life. It’s a good opportunity to make some assessments that might be helpful to ensure their quality of life. That’s what family is for, right?

This holiday season, take some time out of your busy schedule to make certain your older adults and loved ones are doing well. Take time to assess and make sure your loved one is living in a safe home environment.

A few straightforward safety improvements do not take a lot of time or money. These improvements can significantly reduce the risk of common accidents and falls that could alter the quality of life of a senior. Many older adults have a fear of falling and limit their activities out of that fear. This can result in depression, less physical activity, a decrease in social interaction and feelings of helplessness.

Seniors are more prone to a fall due to aging, poor eyesight, and poor hearing. Balance and illness can cause problems and increase their chance of falling. A few tips on creating a safer home environment would include:

  • Make sure rooms are well lit
  • Remove room rugs that would be tripping hazards
  • Make sure rooms are easy to maneuver and clutter-free
  • Bathroom safety is a must!

Creating a safe bathroom environment is quite simple and can be done aesthetically pleasing as well. GrabAcessories allows you to create a beautiful, functional, safe bathroom from the shower bars to the towel bars. They provide very sturdy hardware with the ability to hold up to 500 lbs. and can be shipped right to your door!

Once you have enjoyed time and made any assessments about your elderly loved one’s safety and home life, make notes for your next visit. It’s always good to have a little comparison to make sure that they are getting what they need when they need it.

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October 20, 2019

4 Resources You Should Consider if You are a Disabled Senior

Aging in Place

By Lizzie Weakley

If you have special needs due to being an older person with one or more disabilities, don’t hesitate to consult local social service agencies. Many now offer household assistance to help maintain safety and security at home. Here are a few types of services that may be available to eligible disabled seniors.

Housework Assistance

Many agencies provide a wide range of household assistance services that can keep you safe and comfortable at home. Housework assistance may be able to send someone to your residence to help with daily basic chores like cooking, laundry, and housecleaning. This can help to reduce or eliminate the amount of time or effort you will have to spend maintaining a clean, orderly home. Dusting, vacuuming, and other related tasks may also be covered. Find out what you may be eligible for in terms of getting this work done.

Lawn Care

While friendly neighbors may be able to help occasionally with mowing the lawn or weeding the flower beds, you might be able to get someone to assist on a regular basis. It is important to keep the yard well cared for to prevent pests and wildlife from burrowing near your home and possibly causing property damage. If they get into your home through the foundation or other entryways, that could present another problem to be addressed.

Transport

If you need rides for medical appointments or to do errands like grocery shopping, transportation might be available to accommodate people with disabilities. This may involve private transport with a regular driver or public transportation via bus or taxi. When contacting social service agencies that help older people with disabilities, ask if there is help for getting around town as needed.

Respite Services

Disabled persons often have family members or friends helping out with housework, yardwork, or other needs. However, many of those people have their own responsibilities to handle as well, or something might come up in their lives that will keep them away for a while. Social service agencies that work with disabled clients may be able to offer respite services. This provides a temporary substitute person who is qualified to provide necessary help until your regular caregivers or family members can resume their support.

While it is not easy living with a disability especially when getting older, it is good to know that valuable assistance is available for those in need. Find out about the type of services you may qualify for to make life more comfortable and secure.

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October 2, 2019

Helping Seniors Maintain Their Independence

Filed under: Aging in Place,Independent Living,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:21 am

Maintaining Independence for Seniors

By Brooke Chaplan

For seniors, maintaining a level of independence can sometimes mean that changes need to be made in their home. The good thing is that there are lots of ways that you can go about taking care of yourself or a family member who is aging. Here are just a few of the things that can be done around your home so that seniors don’t have to sacrifice their independent lifestyle.

Consider Clothing Selection

What clothes are available affects independence and a feeling of self-identity. For example, a button-down shirt can be easier to manage than something that has to be put on over one’s head. Selecting clothing that’s easy to put on and remove means that seniors can maintain their independence for a longer period of time. Slip-on shoes are another good option so that people don’t have to bend down to tie the laces.

Install Safety Features

Taking precautions around the house will make it easier for seniors to stay in their own home. For example, installing grab bars in the bathroom will allow the elderly to get ready for the day without assistance. They can also prevent seniors from experiencing a fall and not being able to get back up. Improving the quality of lighting around the house can also work to prevent an accident from occurring. Remove rugs or tape them to the floor to eliminate the chances of slipping.

Use Technology Wisely

There are lots of options when it comes to technology that can help seniors around the house. For example, voice activated assistants can be programed to turn on and off electronic devices or the lights around the house as well as control the locks on your doors. Another good feature to have is an emergency call button. This could be something that your loved one wears or even a motion sensor that you have installed. It could call for help if it didn’t detect movement after a certain period of time, which could be a life-saving tool if someone falls or has a stroke.

Employ Assistance Options

In-home assistance can be a lifesaver when you’re struggling with the day-to-day tasks. For example, housekeeping, lawn maintenance, or grocery shopping services can be utilized so that you have one less thing to worry over. There are also other types of services in which an aide can come to your home and help you with personal hygiene or meal preparation. All of these services are designed to help the elderly stay in their homes for as long as possible.

People don’t have to lose their independence when they become older. Use these ideas to help you think of how you can help an elderly friend or loved one maintain their independence, which will improve their mental health and stability.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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September 19, 2019

4 Ways to Help Make the Bathroom Safer for the Elderly

Filed under: Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:02 am

Seniors Bathroom SafetyBy Brooke Chaplan

For most elderly adults, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in their homes. The combination of water and slippery surfaces such as tile poses a serious risk for falls. Seniors may also find it hard to steady themselves as they lower themselves to sit on a toilet or try to climb into a bathtub. Now that your loved one is getting older, you may need to make these four changes to his or her bathroom to protect him or her from injury.

Install a Comfort-Height Toilet

Older adults tend to struggle with health issues that make it hard to use the bathroom. For instance, seniors with arthritis will find it harder to lower themselves on to a toilet and stand back up. A comfort-height toilet reduces the strain on your loved one’s lower legs so that he or she is less likely to lose his or her balance while changing positions.

Do a Tub-to-Shower Conversion

Bathtubs often have high ledges that are hard for seniors to step over. Trying to step into the bathtub can also cause a senior to slip on a wet surface and fall. Tub-to-shower conversions are an effective way to instantly make your loved one’s personal hygiene routine safer. Roll-in showers eliminate any ledges that could cause your loved one to trip and fall. When you are planning your bathroom remodeling project, be sure to mention if your loved one has mobility issues. Your remodelers will have experience working with a variety of needs and may have other suggestions for improving mobility and safety.

Consider the Ease for Cleaning

As you plan the tub-to-shower conversion, be sure to think about the types of surfacing that you want in this new bathroom feature. Although tile is pretty, it requires grout that can be hard for seniors to keep clean. Consider having the shower installed with a smooth, grout-free surface that your loved one can easily wipe down. This eliminates the need for them to stand on a wet surface for an extended period of time. Of course, as people age, it becomes harder to bend and kneel to clean, so also consider ensuring that someone other than your aging loved one has to clean the floors in the bathroom.

Make Sure to Add Handrails

Your loved one may still lose his or her balance on non-skid surfacing. Seniors may also be apprehensive about showering if they have ever experienced a fall. Handrails give seniors support as they move around the bathroom. Be sure to add handrails near the toilet and in the shower so that your loved one always has a safe place to grab onto if he or she feels unsteady in the bathroom.

Making a few changes to your loved one’s bathroom is well worth the effort. With a safe bathroom set up, you can feel confident encouraging your loved one to live independently in his or her home. Once the bathroom is complete, just ask your loved one to let you know if he or she encounters any new challenges so that you can immediately respond to his or her needs.

 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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August 19, 2019

4 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe as a Senior

Filed under: Aging in Place,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 2:28 pm

senior safety at home tipsBy Lizzie Weakley

As we age, a lot of things change. Our hearing and eyesight may not be as sharp, and our mobility could be reduced. Meanwhile, we typically spend more time at home because we’re retired. This combination means that it is more important than ever to be safe at home, and these four tips can help you achieve that.

Keep It Simple

The last thing you probably want is to make your home feel like a fortress, even though you’d like it to be as safe as one. The more things you can add without creating extra effort for yourself, the more effective your safety plan will be.

Choose a home security alarm system that is easy to activate and deactivate. The more codes and buttons you need, the less likely you are to arm it. Get smoke detectors that are hard-wired to reduce battery demands, and think about installing some “smart home” controls to help you improve security when you’re away.

Ramp Up Your Security

With such great technology available today, home security systems can provide you with much better protection. Video systems can capture clear footage of intruders and trespassers. The system can also link to your phone while you’re away.

Think about your lifestyle and what would help your alarm system serve you better, and then add on the features that will benefit you the most.

Increase Security in Unused Spaces

As your kids grow up and move away, some large areas of your home may no longer be used regularly. As a result, these areas may have insufficient security.

If you have bedrooms that are rarely used, make sure not only to lock their windows but also their doors to further complicate a break-in attempt. The basement door that the kids always entered can now be dead bolted, and outdoor lights that once were too bright in the kids’ rooms can now be installed.

Remove Fall Hazards

It seems that we sometimes learn to ignore certain safety hazards that we have worked around for years. Slipping area rugs, dangling power cords, and poorly-lit areas only need to be dangerous one time to cause an injury.

Have someone walk in and around your home, looking for the things that you have gradually tuned out. Let them help you correct hazards. After all, you only have to fix it once to be safer every day.

Home safety is all about getting things in place and allowing them to work while you go about your daily routines. A few simple steps like these will greatly improve your safety as a senior.

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