24 Tips to Keep Seniors Independent at Home As We Celebrate Independence Day

23 Tips to Keep Seniors Independent at Home As We Celebrate Independence Day!

Ninety percent of seniors want to “age in place” at home as they grow older. Eighty percent believe they will live in their home for as long as they live.

Staying independent at home may become challenging if a person is starting to experience challenges in performing “activities of daily living” (ADLs). In order to “age in place” the senior will probably need contract for services to assist them and need to make physical modifications in their home.

Here are six (6) recognized activities of daily living:

  1. Bathing and Grooming
  2. Dressing and Undressing
  3. Meal Preparation and Feeding
  4. Safe Restroom Use and Maintaining Continence
  5. Mobility and Ambulation
  6. Memory Care and Stimulation

There are many services and physical modifications available today to assist seniors in “aging in place” and staying at home as long as safely possible. Here are a few:

Bathing and Grooming (4 Tips)

  • Install safety bars in the bath and shower
  • Install an appropriate a shower chair
  • If “stand by assist” is required for bathing, hire a professional in-home caregiver to be present
  • Hire an inhome hairdresser or nail care professional for special occasions

Dressing and Undressing (3 Tips)

  • Purchase clothing items that are easy to put on and take off (pants without zippers and buttons/with elastic, etc, …)
  • Research and purchase devices that make it easier to unbutton and button clothing, et
  • If assistance is required, hire a professional in-home caregiver to be present to help with this task

Meal Preparation and Feeding (4 Tips)

  • Have meals prepared and dropped off by family members
  • Hire or contract with a professional meal delivery service for several meals per week
  • Hire a professional in-home caregiver to prepare meals
  • If feeding is issue, hire a professional in-home caregiver to assist in feeding

Safe Bathroom Use and Maintaining Continence (3 Tips)

  • Install a toilet seat lift to make it easier to sit and stand from the toilet
  • Install a safety bar next to the toilet if support is required to sit or stand
  • Utilize Depends or other adult incontinence protection, the choices are broad and there are many attractive options available these days

Mobility and Ambulation Issues (5 Tips)

  • Install safety bars where appropriate throughout the home
  • Make sure appropriate walking assistive devices are available
  • Practice range of motion exercises independently or with the help of a family or professional in-home caregiver
  • Signup for physical therapy to get stronger
  • If the senior utilizes a wheelchair on a daily basis, and needs assistance with transferring safely, hire a professional in-home caregiver to assist with transfers

Memory Care and Stimulation (5 Tips)

  • If a senior is experiencing memory care issues, consult with a non-profit like the Alzheimer’s Association to learn more about the disease, care and memory stimulation
  • Contract and hire a memory care consultant to assist the senior and family
  • Hire a professional in-home caregiver trained in memory care issues to provide care assistance and memory stimulation
  • Hire a consultant to access and address possible safety issues in the home for someone with memory issues
  • Consider signing up for monitoring services for seniors and those with memory care issues
Gretchen Curry, MSPH