This is the second in a 7-part blog series provided by the registered nurses at Nightingale Homecare to help family members and caregivers master the necessary supports needed for older adults to age safely at home and to prevent hospitalizations or admissions to a long-term care facility. This blog is focused on Home Safety: Adaptation and Technology.
Although there are numerous environmental factors and health-related conditions that can contribute to falls, any fall should be viewed as a symptom of an underlying condition, and thoroughly evaluated by a physician. However, families should not wait until a fall occurs to get a personal emergency response system, or to install safety aids.
Technological safeguards are available that will alert loved ones and emergency services should there be a change in the parent’s health needs and condition. Many personal emergency response systems are sophisticated enough to detect a fall even if the wearer does not press the emergency button. This is a critical safeguard for those who fall because they lose consciousness, such as during a heart attack, or those who lose consciousness as the result of a fall, such as by striking their head.
Families should also ensure home safety and adequate accommodation for when there is a decline in the senior’s ability to move around, as is a normal part of aging. The home should be periodically evaluated for risk as needs and abilities change. Installation of grab bars, improved lighting, reduction of clutter, and other necessary safety measures can reduce injuries and falls.
A certified home health care agency can provide nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and other professionals to evaluate your loved one and the home environment, as well as identify which modifications will be likely to keep him or her safe and comfortable at home. Certified home health care agencies providing medical social workers and registered nurses along with certified geriatric care managers can also provide numerous technological referrals and recommendations for loved ones to help them stay better connected with how the senior is managing at home.
Nightingale Homecare is uniquely qualified in assisting your loved one to age safely at home. Nightingale’s PACES Program is specifically focused on fall prevention. Our expert team determines the specific factors that might lead to a fall for each individual and creates a custom-fit fall prevention plan for each individual client.
Our goal is to provide the guidance and care necessary for your loved one to remain safe and independent at home. For more information contact us online or call us at 602-504-1555.
Look for next week’s blog on Household Management: Trust and Support and find out more about how to help the older adult in your life age in place successfully at home!