The idea of life in an assisted living facility or a retirement community may not be the first choice for everyone in their golden years. A growing number of senior citizens are choosing to stay in place and age in the comfort of their home. A recently published report from The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies produced a staggering set of findings about aging and housing. By 2035, one in three U.S. households will be headed by someone 65 or older compared to one in five households today. Senior citizens have a compelling need to live safely considering the physical and psychological vulnerabilities of aging.
Given the surge of seniors who are living at home and want to remain independent, we put together 4 tips to help the elderly live safely and autonomously.
There is a variety of security systems available that can alert police or fire during an emergency. These systems can call 911 if a burglar breaks into your home. You may want to consider motion detectors which can be installed outside the home and trigger exterior lighting if movement outside the home is detected. These detectors can be a useful tool to deter criminals and notify seniors of suspicious activity.
Surveillance cameras can be installed with little work inside and outside your home. Seniors who get help from caregivers or hired help, may benefit from having a second set of eyes. Many surveillance cameras are equipped to record audio and video. If your loved one lives alone, you can set up cameras to view in real time on your smart phone or a computer.
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can kill. It’s colorless, odorless and tasteless to humans and animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says CO is in fumes that are created by burning fuel in vehicles, stoves, gas ranges, furnaces and fireplaces.
Carbon monoxide poisoning may surface as flu-like symptoms, disorientation and weakness. The CDC says senior citizens with chronic heart disease, breathing problems or anemia are at a higher risk of getting sickened by CO. Every year, more than 400 people in the U.S. die from CO.
It’s a good idea to install a battery-operated, carbon monoxide detector in your home and install it where you can hear the alarm if it goes off. We also recommend the installation of a back-up CO detector.
MEDICAL ALERT DEVICES
There are a raft of medical alert systems that are available to peace of mind to seniors. These wearable devices notify emergency services at a push of a button. These systems even detect if a person falls down. Falls represent the leading cause of death and nonfatal, trauma -related hospital admissions Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among among older adults. The CDC estimates 1 in 4 people (aged 65 and older) fall every year.
There are devices that can also monitor the health and fitness levels of the elderly. Here is a review of the top-performing medical devices for seniors and how they compared to each other in testing.
There are even high-tech gadgets which can spot changes of activity levels among seniors, whether it is as nuanced as movement in bed or a chair, or more strenuous activity such as walking.
“The seniors in your life deserve to be protected as they age,” said Pride PHC Vice President Andy Cruz. “Aging exposes all of us to vulnerabilities that we didn’t experience when we were younger. This makes it all the more essential that we are helping the elderly in your life to live safely. Our providers at Pride PHC specialize in senior care, so that you can focus on your family.”