Simple Safety Tips Help Older Family Members Maintain Independence

Demographics show we live in an aging society and more older people are living alone trying to maintain their independence. Taking steps to make the home safer will reduce accidents and the need for long-term health care.

1 People Recommend This Page
Simple Safety Tips Help Older Family Members Maintain Independence
4 Min Read November 12th, 2021
Mallory Knee

Freelance writer where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty

Many older adults live alone, and they enjoy their independence and thrive in their personal space. However, it’s essential to make sure they are safe inside their home. Demographics show we live in an aging society and more older people are trying to live alone maintaining their independence. Taking steps to make the home safer will reduce accidents and the need for long-term health care.

If you have an older parent living alone or are trying to maintain your own independence, these simple tips will help achieve the goal.

Install Grab Bars

The mobility of older adults may be limited. Movements like bending, stretching, and reaching may hurt the body. Therefore, extra support is always recommended. Installing grab bars inside the home for bending support is a good idea, and you can place them in some regions of the house that are used the most. When it comes to activities like cleaning, installing grab bars is one best cleaning tips for those with limited mobility.

Falls are a significant concern and have become a major reason for trips to the Emergency Room or the need for long-term health care. Be sure there are clear walkways throughout the home. When walking on smooth floors, wearing non-slip footwear, such as slippers with rubber/non-slip bottoms or flat, thin-soled shoes, will reduce the fall risk.

Those who have problems with their balance should use their walker or cane inside the house, even if you have grab bars inside the home. Always avoid holding on to the walls or furniture. 

Remove clutter in walkways - including removing throw rugs. Throw rugs create a significant fall risk and should not be inside the home. 

Avoid Bathroom Hazards

Grab bars should also be installed in the bathroom by the shower and near the toilet. Be sure the grab bars are used as some seniors are in denial about their need. 

A rubber mat in the bathtub will prevent slipping when taking a shower. Walk-in showers should have a seat to sit down on if they feel the need to do so. 

Adjust the water heater no higher than 120° F to prevent scalding. 

Install a Medical Alert System

One of the best ways for older adults to protect themselves from medical injuries is by installing a medical alert system. These are security devices that include wireless remotes that adults can activate from anywhere inside their homes. Then, in case of a medical emergency, the system alerts emergency services to contact the user.

Lighting

Be sure there is plenty of lighting throughout the home. Night lights in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms can provide safety if getting up in the middle of the night. Outside lighting will also maintain safety. Be sure light bulbs are changed right away as they go out.

Set Up Daily Check-Ins with a Loved One

Stay connected with loved ones by scheduling a daily check-in. These check-ins can be a call, text, or visit from a loved one. The assurance that someone is looking out for them gives peace of mind to the older adult. In addition, in case of an emergency, your loved one will have your contact information and can assist first responders.

Update Alarm Systems

Older adults living alone should update their alarm systems. Whether it’s your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, or security alarm, it should stay up to date. Then, in case of emergencies, these systems will alert the person, and they can take action to ensure their safety.

Emergency Contact Lists

Older adults should also keep an updated written emergency contact list. Your list can include family members, doctors, trusted neighbors, and any other vital phone numbers. Make sure your list is easily accessible by placing it in plain-sight areas.

It is highly recommended that a list of all medications is also available which can be helpful for first responders if they enter the home.

Maintain Independence and Avoid Dependency

Many older adults enjoy the independence they get from living alone. However, it’s essential to make sure the living environment is secure. You can take extra measures to ensure your safety at home. 

While professional caregivers may be required at some point, you can delay the need for care by taking the proper steps ahead of time.

Pre-planning will also make aging easier on family and finances. Planning should include things like power-for-attorney paperwork and Long-Term Care Insurance. The more that is done before aging and health issues happen will protect assets, reduce family stress, and keep you in control of your life. The ideal time to plan is in your 40s or 50s.

1 People Recommend This Page

About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

Editor's Note

Prepare your family and finances for the costs and burdens of aging by adding an affordable LTC Insurance policy to your retirement plan. 

Buying insurance is not usually something most people look forward to; however, Long-Term Care Insurance will lead to greater peace of mind because of the benefits for your family.

Planning Tools Available on LTC NEWS

Many tools and resources are available on LTC NEWS to help you learn about your options to plan for aging's financial costs and burdens. The goal is to prepare your family and finances for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the financial impact of long-term health care where you live.

You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.

The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area. 

There are also available tax incentives, and see if these tax incentives are helpful by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Looking for Quality Caregivers? Need Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim?

If a loved one already needs in-home care or owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and needs assistance filing the claim, LTC NEWS is here to help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

There are many people today that have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can use the money in your home to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, add retirement income, or even pay for in-home care if you need care now. 

You can ask questions to LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show 62 Who Knew in the LTC NEWS feature "Ask Mike." His expertise in caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages can be a valuable resource - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner

There are many marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances are available. 

Drive traffic to your website and find the people interested in your products and services by using LTC NEWS. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your services.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including health, aging, caregiving, retirement planning, long-term care, lifestyle, and other issues that interest adults over age 40.

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Get Accurate Quotes

Work With A Trusted Specialist

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man sitting at desk
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More