6 TIPS FOR HELPING ELDERLY INDIVIDUALS LIVE COMFORTABLY AT HOME
Many individuals prefer to age in their own homes, rather than transfer to residential care or nursing homes. However, aging at home can present its own set of challenges. Elderly individuals may have difficulty with mobility issues and daily tasks as well as face social isolation. Here are some tips on, how to help elderly people live comfortably in their own homes.
1. Reducing Fall Hazards
Falls are a common issue for the elderly so it’s important to take steps to minimize the risk of falls in the home. Here are some ways to do this:
- Remove clutter: Clear away any objects or items that could be a trip hazard, such as loose rugs or cords.
- Ensure good lighting: Poor lighting can make it difficult to see hazards, so make sure that all areas of the home are well-lit, particularly stairways and hallways.
- Install grab bars: Installing grab bars in bathrooms and showers can provide additional support and stability.
- Use non-slip surfaces: Use non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen, and ensure that flooring is not slippery.
2. Making at Home Modifications
Modifying the home can make it easier for elderly individuals to move around and carry out daily tasks. Here are some modifications to consider:
- Install a stairlift: Stairs can be difficult for elderly individuals to navigate, so installing a stairlift can make a big difference.
- Use ramps: If the home has steps or uneven surfaces, consider installing a ramp to make it easier for the individual to move around.
- Personal alarm systems: Consider installing a personal alarm system that the individual can activate in case of an emergency. We recommend the Vibby Fall Detector Watch (link) which automatically raise an alert if it senses the user has fallen.
- Adapt the bathroom: Adaptations such as a walk-in shower or raised toilet seat can make it easier for elderly individuals to use the bathroom.
3. Providing Transportation Assistance
Many elderly individuals struggle with transportation, particularly if they are no longer able to drive. If the individual needs to get to appointments or run errands, consider arranging for a ride service such as a taxi, Free Now or Uber. Most of these services have an app, which can hope you organise transportation on behalf of a loved one. If the individual is able to use public transportation, consider helping them learn the routes and schedules. If you are able to, consider driving the individual to appointments or other events.
4. Helping with Daily Tasks
Daily tasks can become more difficult for elderly individuals. Offer to take the individual grocery shopping or arrange for a grocery delivery. Consider preparing meals in advance or helping the individual with meal preparation. Offer to help with cleaning tasks such as dusting or vacuuming, or the laundry, or arrange for laundry services if necessary.
5. Encouraging Social Interaction
Social isolation can be a significant issue, for the elderly particularly if they are no longer able to leave their home regularly. Here are some ways to encourage social interaction:
- Visits from friends and family: Encourage friends & family members, to visit the individual regularly.
- Community events: Help the individual get involved in local community events, such as senior centers or clubs.
- Video calls: Set up video calls with friends and family members who are further away.
5. Medication Management
Certain medications can increase the risk of falls. For example, medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness can increase the risk of falls. Therefore, medication management is an important part of fall prevention. Patients should be closely monitored for side effects and medication should be adjusted as necessary. Staff should also be trained on the potential side effects of medications and how to manage them.