For Seniors: 11 Must-Knows to Live Healthily
In our increasingly technological and healthcare-focused world, it is not surprising that more and more older adults are living much longer, and in some cases alone. Independence is a key element of living a happy and fulfilling life. Seniors can preserve their freedom if they live in their own homes instead of nursing homes.
Independence in old age is considered a great privilege; however, it can also pose many risks. Elderly individuals may be more prone to injury and accident, as they may not receive the right care on time if they live alone. As a senior or a caregiver for seniors, you should be aware of the risks of being an elderly person living alone. Our article will cover multiple situations where seniors may be more vulnerable to injury and provide tips for elderly living alone and their caregivers.
Tips for Seniors
1. Live a healthy lifestyle
Healthy eating and regular exercise are two tips for elderly living alone to prevent illness and injury. An active lifestyle in later life may lead to a better sense of balance, reducing the risk of falling for seniors. In addition, regular sleep habits can boost mental health and protect against dementia.
2. Create an emergency contact list
Any senior who lives alone needs emergency contacts list including at least the following on the phones: members of the medical team, family, and friends nearby in case of injury or an accident.
3. Schedule regular checkups
It is crucial to take regular health checks, as one of other tips for elderly living alone. The doctor can ensure a senior is taking the right medication and can identify any potential health risks. Examining a senior's muscle strength, balance, and mobility can also determine whether they are at risk for falling.
4. Have enough medication on hand
Running out of medicine can be very dangerous for an elderly person who lives alone. It is highly recommended that seniors who take daily medications always have extras on hand. A backup supply can provide reassurance to seniors who forgot to order an important medication. It is vital for elderly patients with dementia to use a pill organizer to avoid accidental overdose.
5. Keep medication lists handy
As well, seniors are advised to keep a record of their medications, allergies, and other personal information handy. One list should go in their purse or wallet and the other should go in a highly visible area, such as on a refrigerator or bulletin board. Emergency responders can use these lists to potentially save lives, just as they would with a medical ID bracelet.
6. Fire safety improvements
The less mobility an elderly person has, the greater their risk of being harmed by fire. One of the tips for elderly living alone has to be highly noted is that senior citizens should be cautious around open flames, including candles, fireplaces, and stoves. During use, it is recommended to monitor these devices as they can cause fires. Leaving open flames unattended is never a good idea.
Tips for Caregivers Taking Care of Seniors
1. Prepare a disaster kit
Elderly individuals living alone should be prepared with a disaster prep kit on hand. Power outages, freezing temperatures, and natural disasters may require seniors to assemble a kit that includes dried food, blankets, bottled water, flashlights, matches, candles, and medical supplies. This little catastrophe kit is ideal for seniors to stay safe and secure during severe weather or rolling blackouts until help arrives.
2. Take away tripping hazards
Home hazards like exposed cords or slipping stairs can pose a danger to seniors. One of the easiest tips for elderly living alone and the family is to remove clutter from their home. Besides, seniors could use supportive walking devices like rollator walkers and stand-up walkers to improve stability and safety. Similarly, loose floorboards and stray wires should be repaired. Home organizations for seniors should make sure they have everything they need at their fingertips without having to climb on stools or ladders.
3. Invest in a home security system
Elderly persons who live alone may find Life Alert and similar alert systems invaluable. An elderly person can summon help by simply pressing a button (most commonly worn on a necklace) if they fall. With the right home security system in place, seniors can keep their homes secure and safe. The systems are available in various configurations and options, so the senior (or a family member) can keep an eye on the goings-on and flag any suspicious activities.
4. Place motion-activated lights
The eyesight of seniors may decline with age, so good lighting is essential at home as well as on the road. The use of good lighting will ease the risk of seniors tripping over hazards on the ground. Lights outside can help prevent slips and falls on ice and porch steps. If using a cane or walker, motion-activated indoor lights may be one of the best tips for elderly living alone so that they do not have to turn on the lights whenever entering the room. Motion-activated outdoor lights can be used to deter thieves and prevent home invasions.
5. Install railings in the bathroom
The bathroom can be very slippery when wet, resulting in many accidents. Make sure these areas are safe and dry by taking the proper precautions, placing devices such as toilet safety rail and rolling shower chair. Railings should be installed in showers and tubs where the flooring is slippery so as to reduce the risk of them tripping and falling.
Overall, how can senior citizens live a happy life? Taking the following tips: ensuring their home is well-suited and equipped for any challenges they may face, making a plan for emergency contact, and maintaining specific behaviours and habits for daily security.