I love my grandma, and while I know that she’s at a point in her life where she can’t do everything she used to do (like driving, for instance), I also respect that living with relatives just isn’t for her. She isn’t, however, ready to make the jump to assisted living. While I know she’s a highly capable woman, I still worry about her living in her home all by herself. If you’ve got an older relative or friend in the same situation, here’s what you can do to make things safe and ease some of the worry.
Get a Medical Alert System
I still remember when my grandma broke her hip. She fell in her kitchen and couldn’t get up – she couldn’t even get to the phone to call us. Luckily, she had a Life Alert necklace, and she was able to call us and summon paramedics with the touch of a button.
Systems like Life Alert offer help in the form of a button, which allows you to summon help – even if you can’t get to the phone. If my grandma didn’t have this medical alert system, she probably would’ve had to wait for help until someone came to check on her, which could have been anywhere from hours to days. You just never know what could happen – and a medical alert system ensures that help will be on the way should a medical emergency arise.
Make the Home Safe
There are so many small and easy fixes to make a home safer for senior citizens. Here are some tips from Caring.com:
- Remove any unnecessary furniture, and place remaining furniture so that there’s enough space for a walker or wheelchair
- Have a carpenter install railings in places where a person may need extra support
- Install fire alarms on every floor and outside every bedroom
- Install thin-pile carpet (it’s easier to walk on than thick carpet)
- Remove all tripping hazards and tack electrical cords to walls
Find even more great safety tips here!
Purchase a Personal Medication System
If the senior citizen in your life has trouble remembering to take medications, the MD2 Personal Medication System could be right for them. According to HomeHealthProvider.com, this machine is perfect “for people who are caught in the ‘gap’ between needing little or no medication assistance and full-time medication management.”
The system reminds individuals to dispense and take their medications on schedule. The machine can even give voice reminders and instructions such as “take with water.” If medications aren’t taken on time, a caregiver will be notified.
At approximately $900, it’s kind of an expensive option, but the MD2 can provide you with a lot of peace of mind if you’re worried about your loved one getting the right meds at the right time.
Install a Security System
No matter how old you are, a security system can probably make your home safer. You’ll know if there’s an intruder – and the security company will be able to call the cops if need be. With plans starting at just $5 per week, Protect America is a great option. Visit ProtectAmerica.com to see how a home security system could benefit a senior citizen in your life!
Help Them Develop Community Ties
My grandma lives 30 minutes away, and while I’d love to be able to visit her daily, with a full-time job and a young child, I don’t see her as much as I should or would like to. That’s why it’s crucial to leverage the other relationships in your loved one’s life; it’s important to enlist help to make sure they’re getting the care and help they need. Try to connect your loved one with neighbors. Chances are, those neighbors will be more than willing to check in on your senior friend or relative for you.
Another great idea can be to get your loved one involved with senior groups in the community. It can help them discover what senior resources and activities their local community offers.
Going into assisted living isn’t an ideal choice for all senior citizens; if seniors are able to safely live on their own, they should be able to. By helping your loved one take the proper precautions, you can set up a safe household that provides them with a healthy life and provides you with some peace of mind.
What do you do to make it easier for your senior friend or relative to live alone? Chime in in the comments below!