A Complete Care Guide for the Elderly in Retirement Homes
Home is the safest place for most people. However, seniors often feel unsafe, especially if they have physical limitations. You may encounter balance and mobility problems, declining hearing and vision, poor bone density, and more as you age. You may experience frequent falls and injuries if your house is not senior-friendly. Also, it can create further difficulties because wounds typically take longer to heal in later years. This is why most seniors move to an elderly home with excellent infrastructure, proper safety measures, and qualified staff for timely assistance. Moreover, this way, you can reduce the chances of mishaps and ensure your retirement life is worry-free.
Read on to learn more about how retirement living communities help prevent injuries by keeping the environment secure so that you can make an informed lifestyle decision.
Seniors and Mishaps
Falls Cause Injuries
Research indicates that falls are the primary reason for injuries among seniors 65 years and over, with at least one incident every year. They often lead to hip fractures and severe wounds, rendering the patient bedridden for an extended period.
Falls account for over 80% of injury-related hospitalizations in seniors, making this a leading cause of wound-related admissions for seniors. In most cases, it also requires the patient to get admitted to a skilled nursing facility for proper care after discharge from the hospital.
Cost of Injuries
In addition to the loss of independence, personal suffering, and lower quality of life, the costs of professional healthcare assistance are high.
Locations Where Most Mishaps Occur
Almost half of all falls leading to hospitalization among seniors are known to occur at home. The stair and bathroom are particularly hazardous due to the high possibility of tripping, slipping, and stumbling.
Fear of Falling
Studies show that seniors who fall often tend to limit their activities for fear of experiencing a fall again. However, doing so puts them at risk of losing flexibility and strength due to reduced mobility, increasing the chances of a fall. Thus, regular physical activities are essential to prevent falls and injury in later years.
Changes in Seniors Due to Aging
The effects of aging are not the same for everyone. You may or may not experience physical limitations that affect your activity level. Here are a few common changes that most seniors experience and require professional help with:
- Memory Cognitive processing may take longer as you age. This is why making lists and keeping essential information such as phone numbers and addresses handy.
- Bone Density Bones may become weaker and less dense in later years. Also, bone loss or osteoporosis is common among seniors and can worsen by nutritional deficiencies and a lack of exercise. It can result in painful disfigurement, fractures, and reduced mobility.
- Gait and Balance Balance involves the inner ear, eyes, muscular strength, and flexibility of joints. A decline in equilibrium makes it more challenging to maintain balance, indicating that a trip or slip can become a serious fall.
- Vision Your eyes may become more sensitive to powerful glare and take longer to adjust from light to dark and vice versa. It may also become harder for you to judge distances accurately and perceive colors and contrasts.
- Smell, Touch, and Hearing The ability to sense and react swiftly to heat and pain decreases over time. Your capacity to smell diminishes, making it more difficult to smell smoke, spoiled food, and leaking gas. Your hearing ability may be negatively affected.
A Checklist for Elderly Home Care
- Ensure all the entrances to your home have an outdoor light.
- Install reliable railings for the pathways, stairs, pathways, and decks, and have textured surfaces for better traction.
- Clean the walkways and front doorsteps regularly to avoid the accumulation of debris.
- Ensure your mailbox is easily accessible.
- Light all rooms and hallways adequately.
- Secure mats and carpets properly to avoid slipping.
- Avoid rugs on stairs to reduce the chance of falls.
- Ensure the high-traffic areas in your home are free of obstacles.
- Keep a well-stocked first aid handy.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone.
- Install a comfortable seat at your home’s entrance to safely put on or remove your footwear.
- Ensure the stairways are well-lit with the switches at the bottom and top.
- Ensure the stairs have a non-skid surface and are clean and clutter-free.
- Install sturdy handrails on both sides of the staircase.
- Be patient when using the stairs, avoid rushing, and remember to remove your reading glasses.
- Ensure a light switch is near your bedroom’s entrance and beside your bed.
- Keep a lamp, a phone, and a list of emergency numbers by your bed.
- Ensure a clear, clutter-free path from your bed to the bathroom.
- Ensure your bed is not too low or high, and install bed rails, if necessary.
- Store your pans, pots, canned items, and oven mittens in an easy-to-reach location.
- Keep heavy goods in the lower cupboards and light items in the higher cabinets.
- Have a step stool with a safety rail handy.
- Ensure the stove is off after using it.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and regularly check if it works.
- Ensure adequate lighting in the bathroom.
- Have non-slip surfaces and install grab bars in the shower, tub, and toilet.
- Test the water temperature before entering the shower area or bathtub.
- Ensure the bathmats are non-slippery.
- Consider a bath seat for more safety and comfort.
- Be careful when using the bathroom after it has been cleaned.
Fire and Hazardous Materials
- Have an escape route in case of fire.
- Install a smoke detector on every floor of your home and test it at intervals of 3-6 months.
- Label and store flammable and hazardous items properly.
- Have an electrician inspect the wiring, electrical cords, and appliances regularly.
Nutrition Checklist for Seniors in Elderly Homes
Understanding that the foods you eat help build and maintain your body is beneficial. Although your appetite may reduce with age, your body needs the essential nutrients to function well. Skipping meals and inadequately eating can lead to dizziness and weakness, increasing the possibility of a fall. Moreover, deficiencies may cause heart disease, bone loss, arthritis, diabetes, and more. Healthy eating promotes strong bones, a healthy heart, and infection resistance. Consuming a well-balanced diet every day is essential to enjoy your senior years. Consider the following to achieve this:
- Include fruits and vegetables in your meals.
- Consume whole grains and enriched products.
- Have milk products, lower-fat foods, and dry fruits regularly.
- Include fish, leaner meats, poultry, and lentils in your daily diet.
- Practice eating at regular times.
When you live in a reputable elderly home, you do not have to worry about these factors because you will have professional staff to ensure your safety.
Get the Best Safety and Protection in Our Retirement Home
The Holiday Retirement offers the best senior living options in Hartford. We have a qualified and friendly staff to cater to your needs and treat you with the love and dignity you deserve. We will understand your needs and ensure you have everything to lead a worry-free and comfortable life after retirement.
Our facility is conveniently located in a safe area to ensure easy accessibility and peace of mind. We have three major medical facilities and two pharmacies nearby. We offer a spacious studio with individual heat and air conditioning, two buzzers for emergencies, and daily laundry and housekeeping services. You can also enjoy nutritious and delicious meals three times a day.