Senior Home Safety: Geriatric Assessment

In our ongoing series for Home Safety Month, we have discussed some of the things you should do to ensure continued safety for yourself or someone you love to safely age in place at home.  A great step towards planning for safe aging in place is to conduct a complete home safety review.  Here we will share a checklist of some of the key areas to review.  We also offer complete geriatric care management and home safety assessments from our Aging Wisely care managers.

    • Review the home for falling hazards.  Examine lighting, throw rugs and cords that may cause trips and accessibility of commonly-used items.  Key problem areas are bathrooms and kitchens.
    • Consider a personal emergency response system.  These buttons, which can typically be worn around the neck or on the wrist and are water-resistant, can be used to call for help.  Technology continues to evolve and there are now systems with additional home monitoring capabilities, GPS technologies and fall sensors.  Laurie Orlov’s Aging in Place Tech blog offers great updates and analysis of the ever-changing options.
    • Discuss driving habits and concerns.  Mobility and activity are important to an elder’s continued health and well-being, so it is important that a senior doesn’t become isolated in the home, but also important that he/she is safe on the road.  Consider senior transportation services as an option.
    • Find out what areas of maintaining the household may be difficult for your elderly loved one.  Perhaps some assistance with cleaning or ongoing maintenance will help.  It may be time for Dad to stop cleaning the pool in the extreme heat or time for Mom to have help with the heavy housekeeping or lawn care.
    • Healthy nutrition is vital to good health, especially for seniors with chronic conditions.  Seniors who live alone may neglect nutrition and rely more heavily on convenience foods.  As we age, we require less calories and higher nutrients, so a diet of nutrient-dense foods will enhance health.  You can read more in our blog posts on Senior Nutrition.
    • Analyze how well your loved one can manage his/her medications.  Medication problems are a common cause of hospitalization and falls in elders.
    • Prepare for emergencies.  If your family lives at a distance, discuss how you will handle issues such as a hospitalization or medical crisis.  How will you be notified?  Who can be there to ensure your loved one’s wellbeing and communicate to other family members?  Families at a distance may want to consider a geriatric care manager to assist and check on elderly loved ones on a regular basis.  Additionally, ensure your loved one has a plan and supplies for natural disasters.  This month we have provided several tips and checklists for senior disaster preparedness in the EasyLiving blog.

Contact us at 727-448-0900 for Pinellas County Florida senior home care services and aging-in-place assistance. Questions about Clearwater home health care, senior transportation or elderly meal services?  We can help!