Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tips from 'Modern Senior' about how to stay home longer.

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(picture from Modern Senior website). I was reading a posting from 'Modern Senior' website regarding how to stay home longer, in other words - how to avoid going to a nursing home and live in your own home. According to the article, 'aging in place can have a lot of mental and emotional benefits. One survey showed that the biggest fear among seniors was loss of independence followed second by the fear of having to move into a nursing home. It may come as a surprise that the fear of death came in last with only 3% reporting that it was their biggest fear. Having to leave your home can have a huge emotional toll that ultimately serves as a catalyst to other health problems. Aging in place can actually increase quality of life and longevity.'
The cost of going to a nursing home continues to rise. You need to check with your medical plans to see if and how much they cover. How does Medicare or Medicaid figure in? Best plan is to plan ahead, plan logistically, to avoid the cost.
Mobility, or lack thereof, tends to be the number one problem BUT there are solutions that can help for a period of time:
** One is a stair lift to help with stairs and avoid falls. There are a few different companies that sell them so you can check on what they offer.
** Second is a lift chair which is similar to a recliner that lifts someone up to a standing position and safely gets you seated without assistance.
** Three is a walk in tub or shower (add grab bars) and you can pretty much bathe yourself.
(pictures from my mother's remodel)
. Grab bars at the door can help get people in and out of the house.
Medical alert systems can be a comfort to elderly parents; my mom liked hers and it worked great when we needed it. I can attest to the distance it covers since one day, she drove away with it on & was about a mile down the street when she accidentally activated it. The company called me & 911. We all arrived together and NO MOM!! We were a little nervous, when I noticed her car was not there. So I called her cell phone and she told me she was down the road getting gas for her car. It was a good thing the EMTs and firefighters had a sense of humor!! While on this subject - - you may want to get a lock box (find a somewhat not-so-visible place for it) and keep an extra key in it and let 911 dispatch have the code number (they only give it out when there is a call). Mom was not too enthused about it but the way I figured it, it was better than fire fighters knocking down her door or breaking windows to get in, if I don't get there first and she could not make it to the door.
There are other ways to help get the home in shape for someone who may want to think ahead. See 'Preventing Falls' on Caring for Elderly Parents.
Also from 'A Place for Mom', there are some caregiver apps that can help.

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