Seniors over the age of 65 account for approximately half of all injury-related hospitalizations, and the majority of these are due to slips and falls. Help a senior in your life maximize their safety and independence at home. Here are a few key tips.
In the bedroom
Make sure there’s a clear path between the bed and the door. Install a nightlight or place a light switch near the bed that can be turned on without getting up. These adjustments will make it easy for your loved ones to move around and see where they’re going if they need to get up at night to use the bathroom.
In the kitchen
Keep small items that are used daily, such as utensils, cups, glasses, and lids, in easy-to-reach locations. Place items that don’t get used very often, such as plastic dishes and stainless-steel bowls, up high. Heavy objects, such as pots, pans, and small appliances, should be stored in cabinets and drawers that are close to the ground.
In the bathroom
Install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet. A bathing chair can be used to make it easier to wash and help prevent leg fatigue. In addition, a non-slip rubber mat with suction cups will make surfaces less slippery. You can also install a handheld shower, which is easier to handle, as well as a temperature regulator to prevent accidental burns.
In high-traffic areas
Ensure that all hallways, staircases, and entrances are clear of obstacles, clutter, and tripping hazards. If there are throw rugs, make sure they’re properly secured and aren’t wrinkled or bunched up. Furthermore, make sure there’s adequate lighting in these areas and a sturdy handrail along either side of the staircase.
If you want more tips for how to create a safe living environment, arrange an in-home assessment with an occupational therapist.
4 reasons to improve the quality of life for seniors
The United Nations has designated October 1, 2022, as the International Day of Older Persons, an occasion to remember older people’s contributions to society and take action to improve their quality of life. Here are four excellent reasons to make this a priority throughout the year.
1. The number of older people continues to rise. The main reason for this is increasing life expectancy. The critical place they occupy in society must not be overlooked.
2. Each person, provided their health allows, will one day become a senior. Any improvements made today will benefit future generations.
3. Older adults are active and engaged in their communities. They bring a wealth of experience and mentoring to the workplace. In family life, their contribution to child and infant care is invaluable.
4. Improving the quality of life for seniors has implications for all aspects of society. It can lead to better transportation accessibility, improved security in public spaces, and technological advances.
Learn more about your area’s different activities and initiatives to improve seniors’ quality of life and what steps you can take.
What’s a continuing care retirement community?
Are you considering visiting a seniors’ residence or retirement home in anticipation of a move for yourself or your loved ones? Have you considered a continuing care retirement community? Here’s what you need to know.
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are characterized by an ability to adapt from independent living and assisted living to memory care and nursing home services. It allows the residents to age in place, with supports varying according to their shifting levels of mobility and autonomy. Depending on the establishment, the accessibility options may be in a single building or in a complex.
CCRCs provide residents with plenty of flexibility and allow for adaptive support to meet them wherever they are on life’s journey. It ensures long-term care by enabling occupants to stay in the same facility despite declining health and abilities. In conventional senior care, residents must change institutions as they lose their autonomy, further complicating their condition. The consistency provided by CCRCs minimizes this disruption.
Talk to a seniors’ residential consultant to find a suitable retirement home in your area.
Enjoy the great outdoors with reduced mobility
Are you in good health but reliant on a wheelchair or walker? Whatever your mobility limitations, you can still spend time enjoying the pleasures of nature. With some research, you can find an outdoor destination adapted to diverse users, including seniors with limited mobility.
Many parks and public nature areas provide access ramps, safe walkways, accessible toilets, and automatic gates and doors. But that’s not all. Some places designed for nature lovers offer specially designed equipment to enable people with limited mobility to enjoy a unique experience despite their condition.
Before setting out, you may be able to borrow or rent an adapted wheelchair or a modified bicycle to travel on uneven or snow-covered paths. You can go along with a friend on their walk or run, take a stroll on the beach or take a bike ride together.
Do you have an active friend who likes to break with routine? Suggest an outing together and make new memories.
There are numerous online resources for people with mobility issues to find accessible nature trails. For details on accessible trails across the U.S., accessiblenature.info has helpful icons indicating whether a route is wheelchair accessible, easy for elderly hikers, or suitable for people with visual impairments. Visit disabledhikers.com for resources for people with limited mobility and their able-bodied hiking companions.
Is 70 the happiest age?
According to research, it seems the age most people are happiest is 70. Does that surprise you? Here’s why this period of life is sometimes called the Age of Happiness.
Factors in your favor
Why do people at this age tend to say they’ve never felt better despite losing their youthful energy? The reasons may vary, but the following factors are consistent:
• They let go of the pressure to perform or please others at any price
• They lose job-related stressors
• They have more time to do activities they truly love
• They realize that time is finite and make the most of every moment
• They have more life experience that gives them a profound sense of wisdom
In a nutshell, seventy-somethings have nothing left to prove, have fewer work-related worries, and are relieved of childcare responsibilities. They have free time to do whatever makes them happy, like volunteering, gardening, reading, traveling, learning, or socializing.
Indeed, various factors can detract from this rosy picture, such as health issues, loneliness, or financial difficulties. Therefore, don’t wait until your 70th birthday to start caring for your health and cultivating friendships. Also, talk to a financial advisor for help creating a retirement nest egg.
Alcohol consumption as a senior: 3 risk factors
Have loved ones or medical professionals expressed concerns about your drinking? It’s important to know that age-specific issues may contribute to an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, leading to mental and physical problems. Whether you drink alcohol regularly or occasionally, your health demands you examine your habits.
Certain events later in life can trigger excessive alcohol consumption, such as:
1. Retirement. Some older people dedicate a significant portion of their lives to their work and view retirement as a series of losses. They may not know how to use or value their free time. Alcohol can become a way to compensate for losing their professional life.
2. Loneliness. Older people who no longer have children in their care, have lost their life partner, or don’t have a large social circle are at increased risk of drinking alone and becoming alcohol dependent.
3. Health problems. Getting sick, losing mobility, or experiencing chronic pain can make an older person preoccupied with declining health. They may resort to alcohol consumption to numb the sadness they feel at losing their abilities.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions? If you need help managing your drinking, don’t hesitate to talk to a healthcare professional. They can advise you and direct you to appropriate resources.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 20 percent of adults aged 60 to 64 and 11 percent of those over 65 engage in binge drinking. In addition to risk factors related to health problems and interactions with medications, older adults are vulnerable to increased alcohol intolerance and, therefore, at a higher risk of drinking-related injuries.
10 ways for seniors to keep busy
Regardless of your interests, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your days this summer. Here are 10 suggestions to get you started.
1. Get back to nature
The thing about the outdoors is that there are many ways to enjoy it. Birdwatch in your backyard, stroll through the woods or bike around the countryside. Alternatively, enjoy a picnic in the park or pack your fishing rod and spend a weekend camping by the lake.
2. Host a game night
Your options are as numerous as they are varied. Keep your mind sharp as you roll the dice, shuffle the cards or test your trivia knowledge. You can teach your grandchildren a game that’s new to them or organize a regular board game night with friends.
3. Move your body
From golfing to gardening, opportunities to engage in physical activity during the summer are plentiful. You can also join a walking club or sign up for a yoga, tai chi or water aerobics class. Often, these group courses are offered outside when the weather’s nice and can be adapted if you have reduced mobility.
4. Plan a cultural outing
Treat yourself to a night out at the theater or take in a concert. If you want to spend an afternoon with your grandkids, head to the movies or visit a museum. Remember, summer is a prime time for all sorts of festivals and local events.
5. Explore your artistic side
Whether you prefer painting, photography, knitting, or playing a musical instrument, there are numerous ways to get creative. Activities like scrapbooking and sculpting sandcastles allow you to combine creativity and spending time with your family.
6. Play outdoor games
If you enjoy activities that allow you to socialize and take advantage of a sunny day, there are many backyard games to choose from including horseshoes, bocce ball, ladder toss and croquet.
7. Enjoy your own company
Spending quiet time alone can be the perfect way to recharge. Curl up on the couch with a crossword puzzle, retreat to the porch swing with a good book or simply relax while listening to music. On a rainy day, try your hand at a jigsaw puzzle or catch up on your favorite TV shows.
8. Indulge in local fare
Take advantage of the summer weather to discover new flavors in your region. Sample the menu at a local bistro, savor a cone at the ice cream parlor or enjoy a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. If you don’t feel like going out, you can teach your grandchildren a family recipe or host a potluck with loved ones.
9. Test your luck
There’s no harm in playing games of chance on occasion, so try your luck at bingo or head to the casino for an evening of fun and excitement.
10. Go shopping
Support independent retailers and local artisans, or check out a few garage sales in your area. If you just want to window shop at the mall, this activity is suitable in all types of weather.