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Live Safely & Independently In Your Own Home:
6 Steps For Seniors

It is a fact that 70% of all Americans will need some form of nursing home, assisted living or home care service in their respective lifetimes (according to the Health and Human Services Department of the United States.)

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For senior citizens and their families, the saying, “A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail” could not be more true. A strategy needs to be in place in the event of a senior family member suddenly becoming unable to care for themselves at home. More often than not, critical needs are overlooked and emergency situations have not been planned for. There are simple steps you can take now to be ready for such an event.

In This Document:

  • Step 1 - Safety
  • Step 2 - Regular Home Care Visits
  • Step 3 - Improve Quality Of Life
  • Step 4 - Open Communication
  • Step 5 - Set Up A Network
  • Step 6 - Skilled Professional Services

STEP ONE: Safety

According to Marion Somers PhD., safety is the most important factor when considering living at home versus facility based care. Elder care facilities go to great lengths to provide a safe and secure living environment for seniors.

Dr. Marion places significant emphasis on being properly prepared for seniors still living independently at home:

  • Eliminate all potential hazards in the home.
  • Toss out throw rugs.
  • Affix non-slip strips on the bathtub floor.
  • Put all appliances, dishes and silverware within easy reach.
  • Add safety rails in the shower, tub and near the toilet.
  • Program telephones with emergency numbers.
  • Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in perfect working condition.
  • Remove all clutter that could interfere with any movement throughout the home.
  • Keep emergency items in the car like bottled water, a flashlight, an umbrella, maps, etc.


Dr. Marion Somers
Elder Care Expert & Author

STEP TWO: Regular Home Care Visits

Make arrangements for your senior family member to receive regular home care visits by loved ones, friends, neighbors or trained professionals. As seniors age it simply gets increasingly difficult for them to handle day-to-day chores.

By arranging regular visits, it gives elderly loved ones a sense of security and relieves many concerns.

For example, a regularly scheduled visitor can help with preparing meals, laundry, cleaning, running errands and much more. While many of us may not have the time for constant contact, there are professional organizations that can provide those services at a very reasonable rate.

In 2012, MetLife conducted a study and determined that the national average base cost for an assisted living facility is over $3,400 per month.

By comparison, adult care services only average about $70 per day.

In addition, there are service companies that have “plan” rates, as opposed to daily rates, that start as low as $95.00 a month. Just remember that different companies offer different rates and benefits, so make sure to review them thoroughly before purchasing.

STEP THREE: Improve Quality Of Life

It’s important to improve the quality of life for the elderly. As people age, we tend to become more and more sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle can cause a myriad of health and mental issues. According to Dr. Marion, “The body was meant to be moved so encourage your elder to exercise often.” Here are some additional facts from Dr. Marion:

  • Exercise relieves stress, augments coping abilities, wards off exhaustion and keeps weight consistent.
  • Seniors become easily dehydrated. Be sure that your elder consumes enough water every day.
  • Many elderly are over-medicated, so take stock of all medications and eliminate any you can with the guidance of a physician.
  • Facilitate interaction with the local community whenever possible.
  • Encourage creative outlets such as painting, drawing, music, writing, arts and crafts, etc.
  • Expose your elder to entertainment such as movies, books, newspapers, magazines, theater, concerts, museums, playing cards and sporting events.
  • Food is one of the few remaining varieties in your elder’s life, so have fun with it.
  • Take your elder out to eat as often as you can.

Your elder will greatly appreciate any interest you show in his/her appearance.

Take a moment to re-read the tip on over medication. Controlling medications is one of the most important and key components to improving the quality of life for your elder.

Over medication can display itself in many different ways. Overly medicated seniors can begin to manifest symptoms of early onset dementia. This important fact left unchecked could leave a family with no choice but to remove their loved one from home and place them in a full time adult care facility.

Many families are not aware of the costs involved with these facilities and are unprepared for the financial consequences of such a move.

Improving the quality of life for your elder gives them something to be excited about and a reason to get up in the morning. This commitment to attention is something that can make all the difference as our loved ones age.

Hiring professional services can go a long way in helping with many of the tips Dr. Marion suggested in improving the quality of life for your elder.

STEP FOUR: Open Communication

Communication is a key component to your senior loved ones sense of independence.

You cannot discount anything your elder is saying simply because you think they are being senile or obstinate. Do not judge them. Leave your baggage and pre-conceptions at the door. They are communicating with you for a reason. Many times, just like a child, an elder will pick an argument with you just so that you will engage and give them some attention.

Healthy communication with your elder is important as it helps them to maintain their independence. Here are some tips from Dr. Marion:

  • Keep your sentences short and concise.
  • Begin communication with a one-on-one discussion.
  • Understand your elder’s values.
  • Find humor in any situation if possible.
  • Talk about positive memories and important people from your elder’s life.
  • If past conflicts arise, face them directly to dissipate the unease.
  • Allow your elder to discuss his/her deepest thoughts.
  • Have a pre-programmed cell phone that your senior can access at all times.
  • Even install a home monitoring system.

STEP FIVE: Set Up A Network

The network should consist of a group of people or professionals that would be able to help you and your elder with any needs that could suddenly arise.

As they age, seniors will become more and more dependent on others.

It’s best to establish this network early so that your elder will feel comfortable and be familiar with the people helping them.

STEP SIX: Home Care Services

Many seniors are under the impression that traditional health care programs will cover their care. Medicare, Medigap and most Medicare Advantage Plans are designed to cover hospital stays, doctor bills and some short term skilled nursing. Unfortunately, they may not cover the cost of everyday assistance in your own home.

While your loved ones have the best intentions to be there for you when a crisis arises, many are not prepared and quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of work involved. Purchasing traditional home health care insurance is limited to only the extremely healthy, creating challenges for seniors in need of another option.

The True Freedom Plans from American Senior Services, Inc., are a viable and dependable alternative to traditional home health care insurance.

True Freedom plans offer guaranteed, hassle-free acceptance into a membership plan that will provide fast, easy access to home care/ companion care services when you or your loved ones need them most.

All plans feature 24 to 72 hour response to in-home care requests with just one simple toll-free phone call. There is no additional paperwork, claim forms, deductibles or co-pays in order for a member to receive services in the comfort of their own home.

American Senior Services, Inc. is a trusted company that successfully serves thousands of seniors nationwide through a commitment to integrity and financial responsibility.

True Freedom memberships encourage seniors to sustain an independent lifestyle by prearranging for fully licensed, bonded and insured home care providers. Members also have the freedom of selecting a trusted friend or neighbor to provide home care services as part of their plan.

By following these simple steps, a tremendous amount of apprehension and concern can be dealt with while establishing an independent lifestyle. The right plan and service for you or your senior will give a family the empowerment, independence and security to move forward together.

Just remember, the more people they have in their network, the less they will need to rely on you. The right plan for your senior will give a family the empowerment, independence and security to move forward together.

Call today to speak with a home care representative.

Mission Statement: “To develop and facilitate the highest quality contract home care products and services for the senior market. To provide comfort for family members who depend on our products and dignity for our clients who use them.”

 

This document is available for download as a PDF that you can read on screen or print.
Click this link to download the document.