June 14, 2021 by
Think of the many tools you use each day – your phone, hairbrush, toothbrush – simple things, but ones you can’t imagine living without. For millions of older adults, there are basic assistive devices available that could mean the difference between living at home and facing a move to assisted living. Yet nearly half of seniors living at home aren’t utilizing these helpful tools – even though costs are minimal.
A recent National Health and Aging Trends Study assessed the ability of older adults to perform tasks such as rising unassisted from a seated position and walking, and found that thousands of the participants could benefit from assistive devices.
Not only that, but the risk of senior falls from the lack of simple assistive devices is increased, leading to hospitalizations, serious injury, and disability that could easily have been prevented. In fact, once these devices were made available to seniors, according to research, disability rates for seniors dropped by 50%, along with a decrease in pain levels and an increase in the ability to perform activities of daily living independently.
Dr. Kenneth Lam, author of the study, explained, “It’s a technical problem which, unlike so much of aging, is actually solvable. In the hospital, I can order an M.R.I. and charge the system thousands of dollars. But down the road, that won’t help patients not fall. What happens when they get home?”
A program at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore is looking to change this by introducing inexpensive assistive tools to seniors. Through several in-home visits by an occupational therapist, nurse, and repair specialist, needs are identified and resolved. That could mean installing grab bars in the bathroom, removing fall hazards, or adding a shower chair or raised toilet seat. Small changes such as these can make an enormous difference in a senior’s ability to safely and independently manage activities of daily living.
With At Home Independent Living, the leading provider of Syracuse elderly care and care in surrounding areas, we’re pleased to offer in-home evaluations to recommend changes to the home environment that enhance safety and help seniors remain independent and in control. We can also help enhance senior’s safety, comfort, and independence through services such as:
- Offering accompanied transportation for errands, medical appointments, and fun outings
- Preparing nutritious meals and ensuring sufficient hydration for seniors
- Providing assistance as needed with personal care needs for safe bathing/showering, getting dressed, etc.
- Maintaining a clean and organized home
- And more