Being an independent senior has never been easier. Nowadays there are numerous resources, programs, and services available in the community that will help you get through the golden years.
As seniors age, some families may decide their loved ones would be better off at a long-term care facility where they can get immediate and professional care. However, most seniors choose to stay in the comfort of their homes.
It is important to assess the person’s limits and capability when choosing to remain independent. This may be challenging at first, but it is achievable when the home is safe and fully accessible.
Here are our top tips to help you maintain your independence at home:
Install a Medical Alert System
Installing a medical alert system at home can be feasible. In case of an emergency, this system will connect you with your primary contact or emergency services in an extreme scenario.
GPS tracker for seniors could be helpful if the person tends to wander. Such devices can give families peace of mind knowing the person’s whereabouts which can be accessed on a smartphone at any time.
The AliMed Magnetic Alarm is a great affordable option available at Mobility 1st. This device is mainly for someone who has a caregiver or a companion. The alarm comes with a universal fitting for the bed, chair, and toilet. It features dual tone/volume: 95 dB (high) or 85 dB (low), LED light for low battery indication and an on/off switch. It also includes a hook-and-loop fastener for a wheelchair and a holster with mounting screws for a headboard or toilet installation. The adjustable cord (18″ – 58″) suits any situation and has a strong alligator clip for attachment to the patient’s clothing.
It is recommended to ask your doctor to assess your present needs and know what they will be in the future.
Home Health Aides
Choosing to stay independent at home may come with risks. That is why it may be a good idea to consider hiring a home healthcare aide who can visit a few times a week.
Hiring a Personal Support Worker from a home care agency can be a better option if you are looking for a caregiver with extensive experience and proper training. Usually, PSWs hired through home care agencies go through background checks. This gives many families peace of mind knowing that the organization has policies and procedures in place to ensure a high quality of care.
The South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is a great organization where you can find a list of home care agencies available in the London community.
It is good to keep in mind to ask for references and certifications along with criminal background checks when hiring an independent Personal Support Worker. As well, know the paperwork you will need or policies that must be followed to legally hire a PSW in London.
Upgrade Your Home
Making your home accessible is key when choosing to stay independent. Here are some ideas to create a safe environment:
- Installing automatic lights outside, set up lights in dark areas and easy-to-access switches.
- Securing carpets and loose cords to the floor.
- Installing assistance rails and grab bars in bathrooms or anywhere needed.
- Installing stair lifts to access basements, top floors, or backyards.
- Moving heavy items to waist height shelves and moving frequently used items to lower shelves.
- Consider a home security system.
Other safety aids include bath chairs, shower spray, toilet seat risers, and lift chairs that will make your home a safe and accessible place to live in.
Explore and Keep Your Interests Alive
There is always a misconception that as we grow older certain activities are not for a certain age. However, there is no proof that seniors are not capable of experiencing cool activities. It is essential to remain active and keep a healthy lifestyle during these unusual times. Do not be afraid to explore your interests and find fun ways to spend your time.
If you still do not know what your interests are, try learning new things such as playing an instrument, taking art classes, cooking lessons, water aerobics, volunteering, or even learning a new language! It has been proven that language learning helps improve people’s thinking skills and memory abilities. Remember, it is never too late to develop a new skill. Consider doing some of these activities with friends and family to stay connected and strengthen your relationships.
The city of London seniors’ centres and Boys and Girls Club of London programs help older adults in London live healthy and active. You can give them a call or send them an email to find out their COVID-19 restrictions and procedures at this time.
Take Care of Your Mental and Emotional Health
There is no determined age as to when we should be concerned about someone’s mental and emotional health. Numerous factors in people’s lives can impact the way they think and behave. That is why it is important to speak up and ask for help when you are ready to share your experience.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 20% of adults over the age of 60 deal with some form of mental or neurological disorder. For adults 60 and over, depression affects about 7% of the population and anxiety disorders affect 3.8%.
Remember that is okay to experience a need for behavioural health treatment, and odds are you are not alone.
Know Your Resources
There are many local resources available that can help answer any questions you still have about senior independence and other topics like mental health. Below are some resources:
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Our experienced and knowledgeable staff are here to help you find the PERFECT solution to maintain your independence at home. All while keeping costs minimal.
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