Elderly Independent Living – A Senior’s First Choice

There are many reasons why you might feel it’s better if your aging parent doesn’t live alone.

Get ready for for some opposition!!   I don’t know why I was surprised that elderly independent living is usually a senior’s first choice.

Does Elderly Independent Living Make Sense?

It depends on who you ask.

A recent poll shows that almost 90% of people aged 60+ would like to stay in familiar surroundings.  Even if they need some assistance doing routine tasks or have trouble maintaining their home, their home is still their castle. 

If I were trying to make a point about how seniors can still take care of themselves, I would use Betty White as an example.  At 89 years young, Betty is till going strong and living life on her own terms.

I think Betty White would be an excellent person to promote elderly independent living.  What do you think?

Elderly Independent Living – Have You Considered All The Costs?

If you’re like most caregivers, you didn’t actually have a plan in place to to take care of your elder.  Heck, there are even some of us who don’t have a definite plan to take care of ourselves as we age.

Maybe your elder is just starting to need assistance.  Perhaps a little help with the yard work and errands.  Or maybe it’s grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments.  You start to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier if your parent moved to where they could have help when they need it.

Let’s face it – It Would Be Easier For You!!

The cost to elderly independent living is not all financial.

The payment required may be our time and assistance when we don’t really feel like helping.  It may be quicker if we take over some tasks from our senior.

But if we hold our elder’s hand…
We’ll get there just the same…

And the reward of encouraging elderly independent living could be…

Priceless

Elderly Independent Living Is Not For Wimps

The senior and the caregiver each will need courage and patience if elderly independent living is to stand a chance.  Emotions may run high at times but:

  • If you remember to act like the adults you both are
  • Are specific about how needs will be met (is assistance needed etc.)
  • Realize this situation is new for both of you – Neither of you will be comfortable planning your elder’s life together.

This journey will provide unexpected benefits for both of you.

Can you imagine an elephant walking a tightrope?  That is probally the best way I can describe my experience as a caregiver.  Elephants aren’t known for their grace on the ground much less on the high wire!

My high wire has been balancing my mom’s needs, wants, and desire for independence, with the daughter that I am.   A daughter who loves her mom and wants the best for her, but is time and financially challenged with the demands of two households and many doctor’s appointments.

In searching for a solution to meet each of our needs I discovered adult living communities in our area.  Being a baby boomer myself I can see some of the appeal of this particular living option.  But I’m back on the tight rope again because mom definitely doesn’t think it’s a good idea.  But we’ll keep working until we find a good fit.

Have you ever experienced this tug of war with a loved one?  If so, would you mind sharing some tips to help me and other care givers get back on track?  Any feedback to help make are relationship better would be really appreciated.  I promise to post your comments within 24 hours and will be happy to send you a link to share with your friends.

While we’re on the subject of sharing, Use the and buttons below to share this post with others balancing their caregiving duties with work and family.  Hopefully they won’t mind sharing their strategies with us.   I  promise to share all my tips.  How about you?

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Nursing Home Falls – Is Under Staffing To Blame?

When seniors live on their own are they more prone to falling?  Or are nursing home falls just as likely?

Most people tend to think the nursing home residents will receive more attention and better care than if they had to depend on friends and family.  If that is true then why are there any nursing home falls?  Could it be due to under staffing?

Are Nursing Home Falls Preventable?

Doing a fall risk assessment is one way to prevent nursing home falls.  Since no two people are alike, a resident’s plan of care will be based on his or her needs.  Based on what is discovered in the fall risk assessment, there may be a need for some type of help in getting around.   Let’s take a look at some factors that might increase your fall risk.

  • Poor eyesight
  • Side effects of medication
  • Clutter
  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers not properly maintained

Stop Nursing Home Falls – How Much Staff Do You Need?

Most nursing home residents come to the nursing home suffering from a long term chronic illness.  They will certainly need care from the staff.  But how many people are on staff?

When you are a hospital patient and you ring for some assistance, you usually have to wait a few minutes for help.  We all know that each caregiver in the hospital has more than one patient.  On average the nursing home staff will be smaller than what you would find in a hospital.   Your loved one may have to wait for assistance.

Three Tips To Help You Reduce Nursing Home Falls

For most of us the decision to put our loved one in a nursing home was a difficult one.  We are convinced that the caregivers are more capable than we are.  Although they have more training than most family caregivers, they could still use our help.     Use these three tips to do your part in reducing nursing home falls.

  1. Make sure that a fall risk assessment has been done.  If your senior did have an assessment, make sure it is regularly updated.  Consult with your loved one’s doctor regarding medications and let the nursing home know of possible side effects.
  2. Reduce clutter – The room should have some of your loved one’s treasured belongings but do your best to have walkways clear.  Remove throw rugs, electrical cords, and anything else that may cause a trip or fall.
  3. Inspect call buttons to be sure they are working.  Practice with your senior until you are confident they know how to use them.  Many seniors injuries happen just getting out of bed, make sure they know how to call for help.

We all want our loved one to live the best life possible.  Sometimes that means having our aging parent move into our home.  Often talk of any type of moving is met with resistance.  As baby boomers near retirement age more and more senior living options are popping up.  Elderly independent living communities are being developed, and many seniors prefer these new communities.

As always I encourage you to share your experiences with the caregiver community.  The more we share resources, the more fulfilling we can make our care giving experience.  When you use the and buttons below, you are not only sharing useful information with family and friends, but also giving them the chance to share their knowledge with my followers too.

When you share this post with family and friends, please let them know their comments are welcome too!  I will email them a link to see their comments on the blog within 24 hours.

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Elderly Falling At Home Is Common

Elderly falling is common and you may be thinking…

So What???

It’s a big deal for you as a caregiver and also for all of us as we age.  Chances are you have already experienced a fall yourself and it took you by surprise.  As a caregiver, chances are even greater that you have had to deal with the unexpected fall of a loved one.

It’s not unusual for caregivers not to realize their loved one is at risk of a fall.  Perhaps your aging parent still has good mobility.  Did you know that chronic illness is one of many reasons that makes elderly falling common?

Chronic Illness Contributes To Elderly Falling

Mom has a number chronic health issues.  One of them is diabetes which is growing problem for young and old alike.  Low blood sugar most likely played a part in my mom’s almost tragic fall.

My mom still tries to remain independent and lives in a senior apartment.  When she is feeling pretty good, I check on her daily.  If she’s not doing well, I will be with her multiple times a day.  It was during one of her “bad” periods when I found her semi-conscious underneath the ironing board.

I went to her apartment before 6am and heard the alarm clock buzzing.  I entered the dark apartment and found my mom under the ironing board and my heart dropped.  I immediately thought the worst, that she had passed away.

I went to mom and touched her and she moaned.  It was wonderful and awful at the same time!  I was ecstatic she was still with me, but I had a major situation on my hands.

Her speech was slow and slurred, and she was as limp as cooked spaghetti.  I couldn’t lift her, and she couldn’t sit up without falling over.  I thought she must have had a stroke.  I called 911, as well as my family to come too.

After the paramedics learned my mom was diabetic, they checked her blood sugar which was dangerously low.  They gave her something to bring it up quickly and transported her to the hospital.  When my mother was stabilized she told us what happened.

Mom had known she was having a reaction from low blood sugar.  She tried to get up to get a snack and fell along the way.  My mom had lived with diabetes for years with no major scares.  We were both caught unaware!

Hopefully your eyes have been opened by my story.

The elderly falling at home is quite common and not just because of poor housekeeping.

At the time of this post my mother is doing well.  It was a miracle that I got there and got help for her in time.  I was so unprepared for how quickly things could get out of control.  Both my mother and I only thought about the long term effects of chronic illness, not the day to day hazards.

Learn from our experience and if you or someone you know suffers from chronic illnesses, get some type of emergency response plan together.  Diabetes was the culprit in my mom’s case.  Diabetes affects millions of people so chances are someone in your circle of friends could be dealing with this disease.

Be sure to share this post on and so you don’t forget anyone.  You can use the buttons below to connect with friends and family.

The elderly falling is dangerous no matter where it happens.  I was doing some research on nursing homes, and found that nursing home falls happen more often than I thought.

If you or anyone you know has had any experience with nursing homes, I would love to hear from you.  The more info we have as caregivers the better, so please don’t hold back any suggestions or ideas.  I reply to emails and post comments within 24 hours.  Your voice will be heard!

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Senior Falls – Injuries Go Hand In Hand

Did you know there is a double standard for how to react to falls?

When children fall, you’re supposed to shrug it off most of the time.  Whenever your aging parent falls, sound the alarm!  Senior Falls And Injuries Go Hand In Hand.

Here are a couple of mind blowing statistics:

  • $30 billion annually is spent on healthcare related to falls.
  • Medicare costs alone for hip fractures as a result of falls is projected to be 240 billion dollars by 2040.

I never thought much about the danger of simple falls until recently.  Although I’m far from being a kid, I don’t put myself in the “senior” category either.

The truth is…

  • If my mother didn’t have so many health issues
  • I wasn’t my mom’s caregiver

I wouldn’t be writing about how senior falls and injuries go hand in hand.

But since this is my reality, (and probably yours too), let’s examine some reasons why these falls are so serious.

Senior Falls – Causes And Hidden Dangers

Older adults are more susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become more porous, less resistant to stress, and more prone to fractures.  Osteoporosis is a chief cause of fractures in older adults, especially among women.

Some medications give you a higher risk factor for osteoporosis.  Talk about a “catch-22”!

There are other dangers from senior falls besides broken bones.  Many seniors are taking several medications just to keep their conditions in check.  Missing a dosage because of falling and not being able to get up can have serious consequences.

Senior Falls Cause More Than Physical Injury

There may be lasting emotional trauma too after falling.  Some seniors are so afraid of falling that they restrict their activities.  I personally know of someone who seldom goes out in winter because they “might” fall on the ice.  I don’t bother to say they “might” fall at home too.

It’s really a shame the same fall you experienced as a child can have such a different effect as you age.  Now that we know senior falls and injuries go hand in hand, we should try to minimize what risks we can.  Do it not only for your loved one, but for yourself as well.

It is my hope that you are reading this post without having a loved one experience a serious fall.  Unfortunately, I have already gone through this frightening ordeal.  In my post, “Elderly Falling At Home“, I share how my mom’s fall gave me the fright of my life.

I encourage you to share this post on and using the buttons below.  Help all those you care about become more aware of the dangers of seniors falling.  I also invite you to share any insights you have about anything that would benefit caregivers.  You are in the trenches just like I am and we can help one another, and the whole care giving community.  I’ll do my part by posting your comments within 24 hours.  Just shoot me an email , I’d love to hear from you.

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Elderly Shower Products Can Be Lifesavers

Shower and bathtub safety is a concern for many older adults.  Arthritis and other conditions can make it difficult to use everyday products.  Elderly shower products can be lifesavers for both you and your loved one.

Elderly Shower Products Boost Confidence

It’s funny how a few mishaps can shake a person’s confidence.  If your aging parent had a couple of near spills in the tub, their confidence as well as their balance may become shaky.  For them it may be yet another simple task that is no longer simple.  Let’s take a look at how elderly shower products can boost confidence.

Bath Chairs And Grab Bars Are Great Confidence Boosters

Bath chairs and grab bars can be a welcome addition to the bathroom for both you and your aging parent.  Does your senior struggle with any of these issues?

  • Inability to stand for long periods
  • Loss of balance
  • Fear of falling

If your senior struggles with even one of these issues, these two products could be the solution.  Bath chairs allow the elderly to sit without worry of slipping and enjoy their shower.

Grab bars in the shower area help you stabilize your footing as you leave the tub.  Installing a grab bar near the toilet is also a good idea since some seniors lose their balance getting up.

There’s No Shame In Using Elderly Shower Products

The first time I ever purchased or even researched an elderly shower product was when my mom was coming home from surgery.  She probably could have used some help sooner but was ashamed to admit it.  When she got her shower chair and hand held shower, she was as amazed as this baby at the freedom it gave her.

Here Are Your Takeaways!!!

  1. Elderly shower products help reduce slips and falls.
  2. Seniors regain confidence in their abilities to take care of themselves.
  3. Elderly shower products save time.  As their confidence grows seniors complete their tasks more quickly.
  4. These products foster independence.  Sometimes with a little help from these type of products, the elderly can reduce the amount of outside help needed.

Please share this post with other caregivers and seniors in your life.  It could be just the ice breaker needed to get a conversation going.  I know that I could have shared this information with my mom a few years ago.  We would have been able to talk about it because it was coming from a third party.

Maybe we would have gotten some senior products before we needed them, maybe not.  At least we would have had an idea of what products were available to help reduce senior falls.

Use the and buttons below to share with friends and family.  Don’t let them be as in the dark as my mother and I were.

Thankfully there are so many products that make life easier for caregivers and seniors.  I will be focusing on a couple each month and could definitely use ideas on what to start with.  Please share any senior products that are making your life easier with our fellow caregivers.  I’ll post your tips and comments within 24 hours.  Remember any tips you have to share will make it easier for all of us.

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Is Your Bathroom “Senior Safe”?

Your bathroom may be the most dangerous room in your home.  Wet slick surfaces make it easy to lose your balance.  When you make your bathroom “senior safe,” you reduce the threat of accidents for everyone.

You can tell bathroom safety wasn’t on my mind when you come to my home.  I color coordinated and accessorized that bathroom as if my life depended on it.  I never once thought about making an effort to prevent accidents.

Bathrooms Not “Senior Safe” = Overflowing Emergency Rooms

My bathroom isn’t the only one designed for looks instead of being “senior safe.”  Did you know that slips, trips, and falls are second only to motor vehicle accidents for personal injury?

The CDC gave some startling statistics on bathroom injuries for ages 15 and up:

  • Each year 235,000 visit emergency rooms due to bathroom injury
  • More than one third of injuries happen while bathing or showering
  • More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet
  • The bathroom injury rate for women was 72 percent higher than for men

Fortunately some fixes are quick, easy, and not too expensive.

Start Making Your Bathroom “Senior Safe” Today!

Sometimes when we think of making improvements we overlook the small things.  I’ll share three quick fixes I did to get my bathroom on the road to becoming “senior safe.”

  1. Improve lighting – Increase the lighting in your bathroom to help elders see more clearly.  My mom appreciated the extra wattage in the overhead fixture.
  2. Install non slip bathtub treads – Who knew such a small investment would make such a difference?  They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. (No need to change your color scheme!)
  3. Keep a clear path – While bath mats and other accessories really look nice, they should be out of the way until needed.  Tripping is not fun!

Becoming “Senior Safe” Helps Everyone

Reducing accidents doesn’t just happen.  Now that we know just how many injuries occur in bathroom accidents, we can make some changes to keep our families safe. Don’t be another statistic for the CDC.

Remember, a “senior safe” bathroom increases safety for everyone.

You can help make home bathrooms safer by sharing this post with friends and family.  If your friends are anything like mine, they haven’t thought about anything other than a clean bathroom!

Use the  and  buttons below to get the word out.  Together we can make a difference in home safety.

My next post will share some elderly shower products that have made life easier for my mother.  As a caregiver I’m always looking for tips and strategies that make life easier for my mom as well as myself.  Any comments, tips, or suggestions you have to offer will be appreciated.  Don’t be shy, we caregivers have to stick together.  Your comment may be just the thing someone was looking for.

So when you email your comments to me, I post them within 24 hours so we can keep the conversation going.

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