We have a responsibility to our senior relatives to make sure that they are safe in their elder years. The question that many people face is how to fulfill this responsibility while still allowing their relatives to remain independent. Read some tips and advice balancing senior safety and independence for your elder loved ones, and how an elder law attorney can help.
Hazards of Senior Living
By the numbers, and according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), there are too many potential hazards for seniors living alone to ignore. In 2003 alone, over 1.8 million people over the age of 65 were seen by medical professionals and emergency centers for injuries related to falling, with well over 420,000 admitted to hospitals. Such accidents are the single most common type of injury suffered by the elderly, and they are also very preventable.
Securing the Home Environment
One of the first things you need to do, to ensure that your elder loved ones remain safe, is to secure their home environment. This means removing any potential hazards while still allowing them a living space that is functional and allows a maximum ability to live independently. Such modifications include things like shower chairs and easy-entry tubs, grab-bars, non-slip mats, chair lifts, ramps, remote monitoring and the like.
Factors to Consider
There are a number of factors to consider when preparing the home to make it safe for your senior family member. Lighting is one of the more important factors. Is the house well-lit throughout? Do you have nightlights in places where they might be needed, such as in hallways and bathrooms?
Navigating in the dark is a big danger, especially for seniors who may be suffering physical impairments. Make sure doorways are large enough, accessible and easy to use, with sturdy locks that are easy to work. Clear clutter from floors and walkways, and raise seats to make them easy to get into and out of.
Independent Living Facilities
For many seniors, when the home environment becomes too difficult to control, an independent living facility can be the best solution. Be careful to evaluate your choice of facility carefully. Make sure the facility is the kind of place your loved one will enjoy, when meals are provided, and what options there are, what kinds of activities are available, transportation for leaving the facility, additional services and costs, and a variety of other factors are all important.
An Elder Law Attorney
Often, your best bet in securing safety and independence for your senior loved one is to secure the services of an elder law attorney, especially if you think there are problems with where they’re currently living. An attorney can advise you on your options and help you make sure that your loved one’s rights are protected every step of the way.
If you are in the Cuyahoga County area and would like to explore the option of attorney advice, Stano Law Firm can help. Contact us for more information or help in your estate and elder law needs today.