This is a sponsored guest post.
One of the hardest things to deal with as a caregiver is to watch your loved ones need assistance as they navigate their senior years. The best way to prevent mishaps is to know what kind of help is available for senior citizens – especially those who want to age in place in their homes. An entire industry is devoted to the elderly and those with memory-related issues, so there are many options that will help them in their daily lives. There are a lot of pitfalls as we age but being aware of what’s available is the first step in preventing mishaps.
Avoiding accidents can be as simple as finding the best style of walking cane to the more involved process of remodeling a bathroom. From easy to complex, a few modifications can go a long way in preventing incidents at home and when away from home. Here are a few strategies and products that you may find helpful as your loved one ages:
- Properly fitting shoes
- Walking canes or walkers
- Medical alert systems
- Home renovations for seniors
- GPS and other tech tools
This is just a short list of options but once you start researching products and services, you will soon see that there are many available on the market. The best place to start is with the simplest: make sure that your loved one has the appropriate footwear. Statistics show that falls are the leading cause of injuries to those age 65 and over, causing more than 800,000 hospitalizations every year, and some of these falls are caused by improperly fitted shoes. Most of these falls usually result in a head injury or a hip fracture so finding shoes that fit correctly, are comfortable, sturdy, and supportive is vital. This is especially urgent if your loved one has diabetes—diabetics often have multiple issues with their feet so good shoes are a necessity.
Other equipment such as walking canes or walkers are also essential. The right kind of cane can significantly improve a senior’s balance and gait as well as reduce the risk of falling. If a cane is not suitable, then a walker may be necessary for your loved one to stay mobile. Walkers are also helpful in keeping seniors more independent because they offer stable support for the body, as well as a chance for a senior to maintain physical activity in spite of muscle weakness, balance issues, or minor injuries.
Another good idea is to invest in a medical alert system. These are usually a necklace or bracelet that the senior wears all the time. If they fall or injure themselves, they can quickly and easily call for help such as 911 or for an ambulance. Check out the medical alert system reviews to see what features each one has and which would be the best life alert system for your loved one.
If your loved one needs major home renovations, you may need to research the different ways you can remodel a home for a senior. Wider doorways, walk-in showers, grab bars, and converting steps into ramps are just a few changes that can make a home safer. In most cases converting a traditional bathtub into a walk-in shower or tub will be the best starting point.
The other category that can help your loved one age safely in place is using modern-day technology. GPS trackers are now available for dementia patients to keep them safer. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s will wander off at some point. Because of the disorientation and problems with memory, these people will be confused and not know where they are or where they came from. Specific GPS trackers in the form of a bracelet or necklace can track a person’s location so they can be found safely at their exact location.
Other tech tools that can be helpful for any senior citizen include hands-free, voice-activated tools such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Home. These devices can help your loved one remember what day it is, set up medication reminders, contact 911 if there is an emergency, or even just call a family member or caregiver. They are also nice to have around because they are interactive – they can tell jokes, stories, play music, and provide news and weather if desired. Research has also shown that having an AI companion might also benefit seniors by reducing isolation and providing electronic companionship as well.
Any of these suggestions will go a long way to preventing mishaps as your loved one ages. Talk with your loved ones and see which options are a good fit for them as they age gracefully.