If a loved one is adamant about remaining at home for as long as possible, and if they can physically and financially care for themselves and their residence, some adaptive products and safety equipment can be used to help make this arrangement successful for everyone.
Products and Equipment
The following items can be used to make a loved one's home safe and accessible as well as assist them with independently completing activities of daily living:
- Emergency response system (an electronic device designed to summon help in an emergency)
- Risers for toilet seats
- Grab bars for the bathroom near the toilet and shower
- Hand-held shower head
- Bath bench
- Walk-in bathtub or shower
- Bedroom products (adjustable beds, waterproof mattresses, over-bed tables, incontinence pads, railings, etc.)
- Adequate lighting throughout the home, including night lights
- Medicine organizer or alarmed dispenser
- Medicine droppers and spoons
- Button loopers and zipper pulls for easier dressing
- Adaptive clothing and shoes
- Specialized dinnerware to enable easier eating
- Single-lever faucets for kitchen and bathrooms
- Touch-tone telephones with large numbers, speaker or hands-free capabilities, and/or text capability for those who are deaf or hard of hearing (TTY or TDD)
- Talking clocks and wristwatches for people with poor vision
- Low vision equipment to assist with reading and other activities
- Kitchen tools that make opening cans and bottles, peeling potatoes, and cutting and dicing vegetables easier and safer
- Make sure appliances have easy-to-use controls and automatic shut-off capabilities
- "Reachers" or pincher-like devices for people who have a weak grasp or limited mobility to eliminate bending over or having to reach for objects
- Ramps for entryways with steps
- Stair lifts for multi-story homes
- Mobility equipment for individuals who have difficulty getting around the house (rollator, walker, cane, etc.)
- Baskets or other accessories for mobility equipment to assist in carrying food and other items
- Lift chairs for those who have difficulty getting in and out of a seated position
- A list of who to call in case of an emergency to keep by the phone
(Browse through a full selection of assistive products and devices in our Senior Care Product Directory.)
Professionals and Services to Help with Home Safety
Caregivers and seniors do not have to go it alone. Aside from realizing that help is available, it is important to know when it is time to seek it out. If adaptive equipment has helped your loved one, but they still need more assistance or supervision, there are many services available, including:
- Respite care relieves a family caregiver of their responsibilities for varying periods of time.
- Home health care provides assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, personal care, etc. Nurses are also available to provide skilled care, such as administering medications, IVs, dressing wounds, etc.
- Home companions can assist with light housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation transportation and more.
- Physical therapists can make home visits to provide physiotherapy sessions.
- An occupational therapist can help to assess your loved one's home to identify hazards and recommend adaptations or equipment to improve the safety and accessibility of their environment.
- Transportation services are available in most locations to provide seniors with rides to medical appointments and other transportation needs.
- 24-hour skilled nursing is appropriate for individuals who require around-the-clock care.
Providing for the elderly person's safety and well-being enables them to live at home much longer and also gives added peace of mind to the caregiver and other family members.