People may think just because their parents or a family member are older, that they want to sell their homes and move to a senior facility. However, for many seniors, that's not the case. In fact, according to a recent study by AARP, more than 90 percent of older adults prefer to stay in their homes. The majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes because they are most comfortable with what is familiar.
Make Your Home More Senior Friendly
There are several ways to make a home safer and more accessible for older adults. Some are simple things, and others you may need to consult with a professional contractor. Here are some common ways to help your loved one to stay in their home:
- Look for Hazards - Throw rugs, extension cords, and clutter can lead to trips and falls. Creating a clear walking space will reduce the risk of falling.
- Add Lighting - Poor lighting can increase the risk of injury. Be sure corners and stairs are well lit. There are many types of stick-on tap lights without cords, that can be placed in dark areas. Nightlights in the bathroom and hallways are a good idea.
- Keep Things in Reach - Help your parent or loved one go through their kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Be sure items they use often are within reach. Many falls occur upon reaching for items.
- Bathroom Safety - Install grab bars near the toilet and for getting in and out of the bathtub. If your budget allows, install secure walk-in showers or tubs.
- Hire A Cleaning Service - Keeping a house clean reduces the chances of bugs, allergens, and bacteria. Be sure floors are completely dry before stepping on them to avoid slipping.
- Medical Alerts - To reduce the fear of being alone during an emergency for yourself, or your loved one, an emergency response system can provide peace of mind. Knowing that help can arrive within minutes can ensure their well-being while alone.
Older adults need to maintain a healthy diet to help them continue to live on their own. Malnutrition affects approximately 50 percent of older adults. Malnutrition in older adults can lead to higher healthcare costs, more frequent hospital admissions, and extended hospital stays. Since appetites can decrease with age, many older adults skip meals. This can make them more at risk for malnutrition. Health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be the result of a poor diet.
Aging causes the metabolism to slow down, resulting in the need for fewer calories. Seniors need to eat wholesome, balanced meals daily. They should also avoid processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and fat.
Preparing meals may be difficult after a hospitalization or for those with chronic disease. Cooking can be especially hard for those suffering from fatigue or limited mobility. Nutrition care, in the form of home-delivered meals, helps older adults live more independently. They will have the reassurance of receiving nutritious meals delivered right to their home.
- Home-delivered meals, after a hospitalization, may significantly reduce nutrition-related complications.
- Home-delivered meals can reduce the occurrence of falls in the frail and elderly by up to 60%.
- Studies show that 92% of home-delivered meal recipients reported these meals allowed them to remain independent and to live in their own homes.
Studies show that home-delivered meals significantly improve diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduce food insecurity and nutritional risk.
Home-delivered meals may already be a benefit on your health plan. Home-delivered meals provide not only nutrition but can improve the quality of life for those who wish to continue to age at home.