Passing along a few “senior tips” this week and next for consideration. Simple suggestions which may improve quality of life at home for aging mom and dad.

— Install grab bars.
Grab bars are essential for people as they get older and are experiencing issues with balance and stability on their feet, along with diminishing strength in their legs. Stepping into and out of the shower is actually a cause of fear in many elders. Having grab bars will be a great asset to fall prevention and/or the possibility of serious injury.

— Improve lighting.
My mother just recently lost much of her vision in her right eye. Fortunately, her left eye is both her dominant eye, and in great shape. But I constantly remind our caregivers…turn on all the lights when she is attempting to move about. Give her as much lighting as possible to illuminate kitchen, hallway, etc. It is important to keep every room well lit. Without proper lighting, a shadows and lack of depth perception (for example, the visual transition from a rug to linoleum flooring) may cause steps to appear to be at the same level as the floor, and that can cause serious injury.

— Utilize technology.
There are many products now available to monitor elders at home. Similar to home security systems, senior monitors can be installed to alert when the bathroom door stays shut (an elder may have fallen and can not reach the door). Or when there is no recorded movement in certain rooms of the home. Also, personal emergency response systems can provide seniors who have fallen with a means to call for help. They press their monitor (on wrist or necklace) which will call for help.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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