Last month, we talked about conversations with older loved ones about residential living choices. While might find this is a suitable option, others may be able to retrofit their houses for senior living in Chicago, to keep daily living familiar to their local location and make it more comfortable for their aging loved ones. It is only a matter of making certain adjustments in your home, though this task might not be as easy for some as it is for other. Below are some pointers on how you might be able to make your home a positive environment for your loved ones.
Leg strength wanes as people get older. Because of this, even the most innocuous fixture or furniture, or the most routine activity in the home can cause a fall. Start fall-proofing your home by making sure that all the walkways inside your house are well-lighted, and the spaces in your rooms are cleared of clutter, to provide ample space to move around. Reroute wires, should you find them crossing walk paths, and remove unsecured decorative rugs. It’s important to fix worn carpeting on which one might trip.
Fall-proofing your home works both ways. Talk openly with the elders on ways they can avoid fall accidents. Ensure that they get their vision and hearing regularly checked, and help them keep their senses sharp so they cannot miss fall hazards. Encourage them to use canes and other aids if you feel that these will help them.
It is most ideal to situate their room in the first floor of your house. This gives them easy access to the main parts the house such as the living and dining rooms, and the common bathroom. Not only will that save them from straining their legs walking up and down the stairs, but will also keep them safe from fall risks.
Aside from keeping your emergency kit stocked with bandages and medicine, make sure that you keep phone numbers handy in case of medical emergencies. Include your mobile number, the number of the local hospital and your loved ones’ physician, and the contact information of your neighbors. Leave these close to the telephone, on the refrigerator door, or other visible spots.
Hiring a caregiver in Chicago can help lighten the load. As a care manager, I’ll be able to help assess the home and provide a plan in order to make the environment safer. Enlisting help can ease your worries about getting professional care for your parents and loved ones while you’re away.
Charlotte Bishop is a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Case Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.