How to SAFELY Stay Living at Home as You Age
Living at home as you age can seem like the ideal way to spend your golden years.
You envision holiday meals shared with loved ones, spoiling your grandbabies as much as possible, and doing all the things you enjoy the most while in the comfort of your own home.
We want to imagine ourselves living for a long time and maintaining our independence, but as you get older, daily activities start to become more and more challenging.
Your struggles may grow gradually, or an illness could make your life more complicated overnight. You may find yourself avoiding day-to-day necessities because they are just becoming too difficult.
You don’t have to give up your independence just because things are a little harder — but you do need to consider making some changes. Simple adjustments can make all the difference if you want to enjoy living in your home longer.
Living at Home as You Age: 6 Safety Tips
Let us show you some simple tips that can help you make your home safer and your daily activities easier. As you read through this list, think about the things that you find yourself avoiding more and more each day. Consider the changes you could make sooner that would make things less challenging.
Safety in the Bathroom
The bathroom is the hub of cleanliness and must be easily accessible for you if you’re going to maintain basic hygiene. The key areas of concern are the tub and shower, toilet, and storage options that are hard to reach.
As we age, certain tasks become harder. Balancing, stepping over tall objects, and reaching for things all start to be more stressful and we tend to avoid them.
Difficult or not, you have to be able to take care of your hygiene. There are steps you can take to make your bathroom more accessible for you and make things like showers much more enjoyable again.
Safety in the Bedroom
Bedrooms are a place of rest and your private haven for changing clothes and getting ready to take on a new day. They also can become a pretty stressful place to be if you’re struggling with day-to-day tasks like getting in and out of bed or getting dressed.
Here are a few suggestions to help you make sure your bedroom is easy-to-use and more enjoyable again.
Safety in the Kitchen
Cooking Sunday morning breakfast for your family used to be a highlight of your week. Now, a simple meal for two at night is becoming challenging.
It’s harder to get the pans you need out of the cupboard, you spill things more frequently, and bending over to scrub up messes is getting harder to do.
If you’re resorting to TV dinners and take-out meals because cooking is becoming too hard, then there are some things you can do to make it easier — and safer — to cook again.
Safety Outside the Home
Having a summer garden or enjoying a book on the porch can be peaceful and relaxing, but enjoying the outdoors can also pose some additional challenges for you.
You may be having difficulty stepping over doorway thresholds, making your way down the front steps, or getting up and down out of your favorite porch chair. Instead of enjoying the fresh air, you start staying inside more and more because it’s just easier and safer.
Safety When Heating and Cooling Your Home
As we age, our bodies don’t regulate our temperature as well, so it’s important to make sure that you are controlling your exposure to hot and cold weather.
In cooler weather, the risk of heating-related fires among the elderly goes up. According to ESFI, these types of fires are the 2nd leading cause of death among older adults.
In warmer weather, you need to make sure your unit is functioning properly. Extremely hot days can be a serious health risk without a working air conditioner to keep you cool.
For a more in-depth list of safety tips for heating your home, check out this post on the EFI website.
Related Reading: Independent Living Versus Assisted Living: Which is a better fit?
Consult with a Care Manager
This is a lot of information to digest and you might be finding the thought of making all these changes extremely overwhelming.
You don't have to make the tough decisions alone! Talk with one of our Professional Care Managers to get the advice you need today!
They will work with you to develop a customized care plan to fit your needs and their assistance won’t stop there!
Your Professional Care Manager will continue to advise you every step of the way so you can take steps to help you continue living at home as you age.
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Life over 50 is complicated. From illnesses to general aging-related difficulties, there's a lot to learn and a lot to cope with. We understand and we're here to help answer questions and provide guidance on your options.