The little tasks we take for granted as part of day-to-day living are the things that can actually become safety concerns for senior citizens. At any age, our independence is something we hold dear – but even more so as we get older. At the same time, the smallest tasks can become risks. We often think aging in place at the same home one has been living in for years or even decades equals independence, but our own stairs and stoves are just two of many things that can get dangerous when it comes to senior living. Seniors often think that it’s one or the other – independence vs. safety. That may have been true decades ago, but now it’s very possible to age in place and keep one’s independence, stay safe and truly enjoy being a senior.
What kind of risks can aging in place at one’s family home, long after the nest is empty, could there be?
The most common safety issue for seniors is falling. Falls are the most common cause of head injuries among older adults. Falls also cause more than 95 percent of hip fractures among seniors. Seniors are often unable to live independently after being injured in a fall.
Cooking is one of the leading causes of fire at home. There is a 2.5x risk of being injured in a kitchen fire for seniors than the general population according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Physical impairments, medication side effects, memory impairments, and lack of someone around to help all increase the risk of a fire occurring while cooking.
Older adults experience similar health problems as younger adults. However, these problems may present differently or be brushed off as normal aging. In senior patients, minor illnesses can lead to deterioration resulting in immobility, confusion, or falls. For older adults with less social support, this can result in not having someone available to recognize and call for help in an emergency.
While not the most obvious, social isolation is also a senior safety issue. Studies have shown that about 25% of retirees in the US experience a significant drop in health and well-being after retirement. Increasingly, medical literature points to the fact that social factors have a profound impact on older adult’s health. Social relationships with others are a significant predictor of their longevity… even more so than other behaviors such as physical exercise, smoking, or consuming alcohol!
Assisted living allows seniors to maintain their independence while still receiving any personal care assistance they might need. Additionally, seniors can “age in place”. This means that care can be customized as needs change without having to move.
Assisted living communities are specifically designed with senior safety in mind. It is specifically constructed to promote accessibility and mobility for older adults. This can include features such as ramps, hand railings, raised toilets, specially designed walk-in showers, and grab bars in bathrooms. They can also have amenities, services and activities that improve their quality of life!
Many assisted living communities feature emergency call buttons. Staff is notified in case of falls or medical concerns. This means seniors don’t have to worry about struggling to contact help or waiting to be found after a medical event at home.
Finances are often a real concern in retirement. Some assisted living communities offer Medicaid solutions that ensure a resident can continue aging in place, even if their financial situation changes. That’s an enormous burden lifted for any senior!
Older adults living alone are responsible for maintaining their own homes, which can be much harder than it used to be. Most important are smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms and keeping fire extinguishers current. Other household concerns like water heaters, plumbing and even basic handiwork can be insurmountable setbacks for the senior living alone.
Some assisted living communities work with Medicaid, which allows residents to age in place, even if their financial situation changes.
At Amber Court, assisted living residents enjoy private or semi-private rooms. This allows for independence while also having access to amenities that help them remain safe and socially connected.
These include services that promote senior safety such as:
You can also prevent social isolation and maintain connections with amenities such as:
Many seniors are justifiably concerned about living in senior housing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Assisted living facilities aren’t set up the same as nursing homes. This is an important difference.
In nursing homes, there are often multiple residents living in a room. Staff is in and out all day providing care. In assisted living, residents can enjoy private or semi-private accommodations with only the help from staff that they need.
Along with more spacious living accommodations, assisted living facilities such as Amber Court have several recreational spaces. These allow for safe, socially distant activities for those who want them.
Amber Court Assisted Living Facilities follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and protocols. They also follow all state Department of Health regulations for protective equipment, infection control, and visitations.
For many seniors, assisted living offers the best quality of life the retired years can offer – both the independence of aging in place with the safety, services and socialization needed to stay as healthy and happy as possible.
Assisted living can be an easy and effective way to maintain independence and safety as you age. The services provided in assisted living can help you avoid common senior safety issues associated with falls, cooking, medical emergencies, and social isolation.
At Amber Court, we believe everyone deserves to age in a comfortable, safe, and cheerful environment. Our mission is to preserve dignity, promote well-being, and provide quality care. We emphasize individuality and enjoyment in a warm, nurturing environment.
Considering an assisted living community in the New York or New Jersey area? Contact Amber Court Assisted Living today to talk to us about how we can help with both senior safety and independence.
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