In honor of National Safety Month, tips on safety for senior living
Published 8:54 am Monday, June 26, 2017
By LISA KELLER
Morning Pointe of Danville
It’s safe to say that many of us are protective, investing in the security of our own homes, our assets and possessions, and of our family, friends and the greater community. But for some seniors, independent living is a challenge. According to the National Council on Aging’s 2015 United States of Aging Survey, one in 10 of seniors do not feel confident about “aging in place,” and one-fourth of older adults are concerned about living independently.
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When it comes to home safety, there is much to consider beyond installing home security and calling it a day. It involves planning and financial resources and home remodeling expenses that some seniors aren’t prepared to deal with on their own. Fortunately, senior living and personal care communities are sensible and widely trusted options that can help you (and your family) feel at ease in many areas of day-to-day living for a number of reasons:
• Senior Living Puts the brakes on driving – The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates than 40 million seniors are on the road, 50 percent more than in 1999. But age-related conditions, such as cognitive decline and vision problems, can increase the risk for a fatal crash and complications from vehicle accidents. Safe driving is among the top 10 concerns for older adults, according to the NCOA’s survey. With the safety of seniors in mind, many personal care communities offer transportation services, from doctor’s visits to local attractions and shopping trips.
• Senior Living supports fall pevention – In the 160 seconds it took you to read this column, the same number of seniors fell. Falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, remain the number one cause of injuries and deaths for adults age 65 and older. Senior living can play a major role in helping adults feel safer and more independent with a variety of features. On-site physical therapy, available at many of these communities, can help improve balance and flexibility. Also, special railings and custom-designed furnishings throughout the living environment are designed with physical stability and comfort in mind.
• Senior Living tightens the cap on medication worries – Over 80 percent of seniors take at least one prescription medication daily, according to the National Institutes of Health. From daily charting, to knowing whether to take a prescription with food or not, keeping track of prescriptions takes work and much care. Fortunately, licensed staff are available at senior living communities to help residents take their minds off medication management, which can lead to adverse effects and unsafe drug interactions when done improperly.
Making the move to senior living or personal care is no light task. It’s important for aging adults and their families to discuss and understand the options available. It isn’t just about convenience and fine amenities, but also about staying safe and sound.