Safely Aging at Home
Most seniors, when given the choice, understandably choose to continue living in their own homes as they age through their twilight years. However, the aging process inevitably brings changes that can affect health and functional ability that can put seniors at risk. The first step to ensure safe living at home is a home safety evaluation, which will let you know what changes need to be made to make your home environment comfortable, safe, and secure.
There are a number of reasons it is recommended for an older adult to have a home safety evaluation conducted.
- After being discharged from a hospital for acute care or a rehab facility following a change in function
- Anytime after a fall, since falls are the number one most preventable cause of injury to seniors, and the seniors most likely to fall are the ones who have already experienced one fall.
- Whenever a change in eyesight, hearing, mental status, or medications
- Changes in functional status and competence due to any chronic conditions
Referrals can be received from multiple sources, such as medical providers, discharge planners, social workers, home health care clinicians, and private care providers. A home evaluation will observe the home and how you navigate the space, checking at every stage for safety and making recommendations to reduce injury risks.
Falls pose the greatest risk to seniors, by far. Many common causes of falls are due to household hazards that an older body suddenly has trouble navigating, such as rugs, wires and cords, cluttered pathways, and slippery bathrooms.