Love is in the air, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month. Perhaps there is no sweeter love story than that of an aging couple who has withstood the storms of life together. Likewise, no romantic movie could be better than the story of two seniors finding love and companionship in their final decades of life.
As the life expectancy gap between the genders narrows, senior adults today are more likely to be married than in the past. They are also more likely to choose cohabitation with a significant other. As individuals in the growing senior population begin to experience limited mobility, it is vital to consider what it takes to age in place with the one you love.
The little things matter. We’re not talking about a love note or a box of chocolates, though those are quite nice! For individuals who struggle with balance, sight, coordination, mobility or cognitive impairment, small changes can make a big difference.
- Remove unnecessary furniture and other items that increase the chance of tripping.
- Secure necessary items such as rugs or electrical cords.
- Once walkways are cleared throughout the home, install railings or grab bars within reach.
- Keep items at hand, rather than on high shelves. Be certain that the aging individual never has to climb to get what they need.
- Light up their life with brighter bulbs and night lights so impaired vision does not cause a fall.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. What amounts to a minor fall for a younger person can be a life-changing event for an aging adult. Take care to prevent falls in the most common areas:
- Wet, slippery bathrooms are particularly dangerous for those with limited balance, strength and stability. Grab bars and/or hinged arm supports are essential to provide support and balance. Special seating for showers or toilets can be crucial to remaining independent as mobility issues arise.
- When getting in and out of bed, or around and about the house, isn’t as easy as it used to be, lifts and transfer aids may become necessary. Training is essential, in order to prevent injury of the individual in need and for those helping them, as most are designed for use by professional caregivers and some even require more than one person.
- Falling on the stairs presents a major concern, but stairs can also be a problem for those with fatigue, difficulty breathing and many other issues. A Handicare stairlift can add many years to the time spent in the home! We offer solutions for every type of staircase, whether straight, curved, or even outdoors.
This Valentine’s Day, plan to discuss the changes you can make to your home so that you can remain together as long as possible. Let Handicare help ensure that the only place you fall is deeper in love!