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IS YOUR PARENTS' HOME SAFE?
By Rebekah Alcalde
Is your parents' home safe to live in? It may seem like a simple question, but it's actually quite complicated. There are many factors that indicate if a home is a good fit for an older adult and many red flags if it won't be a good option long-term.
Keeping your aging loved one safe is a number one priority. Unfortunately, one out of four seniors have a serious fall each year - due to lack of mobility, weakness, imbalance or other problems. And a bad fall can lead to many ongoing health issues, including broken hips and traumatic brain injuries. Seniors are also much more likely to fall again and continue to decline after their first injury.
Worse still, many older adults don't tell anyone about it. Maybe they are ashamed it happened, or they don't want anyone to worry. In any case, it's important to check the homes of your parents or grandparents, and see if it's safe for them - and create a strategy if it's not.
If your loved one has a history of falls, or seems to need help getting around, it's time to plan for their future. More and more seniors want to continue living in the home, a term called aging in place. Doing so successfully usually involves hiring caregivers when the need additional help and completing some home renovations, like installing grab bars, lowering door thresholds and converting the main residence to a single-floor home. Stairs, high door thresholds and slippery surfaces are particularly dangerous and need to addressed.
CarePatrol, who offer free senior housing placement service, and Healthmax 360, an online marketplace for health and wellness products, have partnered to create a free online home safety evaluation that you can complete by doing a "walk-through" of your loved one's home and answering questions.
The assessment asks questions about stairs, floor surfaces and materials, doorways and walkways, and how your loved one gets around the house. After completing the online evaluation, you will receive the results, along with suggestions and tips on how to decrease falls in your loved one's home.
For more information, visit www.keepingmomsafe.com.
This information is provided by CarePatrol of Baltimore, a senior housing placement agency that serves the Baltimore city and county areas. If you or your loved one need to find a new home, consider talking to a CarePatrol housing placement specialist. They will sit down with you, assess your needs and financial situation, and offer the best options they can find. They are also available for tours and guidance during your final search. You can contact a specialist at (410) 844-0800, CarePatrolBaltimore@CarePatrol.com or www.carepatrolbaltimore.com. You can also find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CarePatrolBaltimore.