Consider the many tools you use every single day – your phone, toothbrush, hairbrush – simple things, but ones you cannot envision living without. For hundreds of older adults, there are basic senior assistive devices available that might mean the difference between living at home and facing a move to assisted living. Yet almost 50% of older adults living at home are not using these very beneficial tools – despite the fact that costs are minimal.
A recent National Health and Aging Trends Study assessed the ability of seniors to perform tasks such as rising unassisted from a sitting position and walking, and found that a great many of the participants could significantly benefit from assistive devices.
Not only that, but the risk of falls due to the lack of simple senior assistive devices is increased, resulting in hospitalizations, serious injury, and disability that may easily have been prevented. In fact, once these devices were made available to older adults, based on research, disability rates for seniors decreased by 50%, along with a reduction in pain levels and an increase in the capacity 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 older adults. Through several in-home visits from an occupational therapist, repair specialist and nurse, needs are identified and resolved. That may mean installing grab bars in the bathroom, removing fall hazards, or adding a raised toilet seat or shower chair. Small modifications such as these can make a substantial difference in a senior’s capacity to manage activities of daily living safely and independently.
At Midnight Sun Home Care, 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 are able to also help enhance senior's comfort, safety, and independence through services such as:
As the premiere provider of senior care in Anchorage, AK and nearby areas, we are available 24/7 through our online contact form or over the phone at (907) 677-7890. Contact us to schedule your free assessment today!