When considering the nursing home option for parents or other loved ones, here are a few of the main advantages to keep to mind:
Better resources and equipment: Private homes simply don’t have the types of medical equipment and supplies needed to help seniors stay healthy. Many nursing homes are almost as advanced as hospitals in their ability to provide sophisticated care for patients on a 24-hour basis.
High-quality long-term care: Due to modern medicine, seniors now live longer than ever. While we’re thankful for this, longer life-spans often come with longer periods of late-life illness and disability. Caring for a senior relative at home is often a long-term commitment of many years, sometimes requiring intensive care.
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Older people might not develop diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis and similar, however these conditions are easier developed by the senior population than by the younger among us. Sadly they are higher risk people and the caregiver has the obligation to help them reduce these risks whenever possible.
It is important that the home is a safe haven for the seniors. Falling anywhere in the home can happen easily so reducing the risks of them having an accident is important. When the person is leaving their home or returning back, particular care needs to be taken with curbs and slippery areas. Most of the injuries though happen at home, so this is why it is important for the caregiver or the family to ensure proper safety as well as making the room easily accessible.
Stairs are usually high risk for elderly simply because the older a person gets, the more difficult it becomes to go up or down the stairs due to arthritis and the inability of bending the knees as one used to do. Stairs can be poorly lit which makes them even more dangerous. In some places installing a stair lift should solve many of the problems that staircases present to the seniors. However having proper lit stairways is important as well regardless whether there is a lift or not in the house.
Proper lighting is useful in the entire home, not only around the stairs. Various corridors and tighter areas should have small lamps for ensuring that there are no dark areas in the home. Many people install sensor lights whereby the light will turn on anytime there is motion around the area. After a few minutes the light turns off automatically, which makes sure that there are no high electricity bills running due to leaving the light on all day and night.
The bathroom is another room in the house that needs special handling when a senior citizen is living there. Proper lighting gives an additional layer of safety in the bathroom. The place should be well lit and light switches should be easily accessible upon entrance.
As the bathroom floor tends to be slippery by nature due to the water splashed, regular carpet mats should be replaced with non-slip mats that do not move and slide around. Sometimes commercial mats such as those used in the kitchen can work quite well too. Also adding grabbing bars next to the toilet, sink area, as well as the shower is a great idea and will enhance the safety of the person using the bathroom. Even towel bars could be replaced by grab bars for added security.
Finally adding wide non-skid tape to high-risk places, such staircases, curb areas and bathroom floors makes the home additionally safe for elderly, and not to forget small children, who are very easy to fall and bruise as well.
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If you are a caregiver for an elderly person it is important that you are aware of a common issue that can occur with many seniors. Many seniors will be wakening in the night and be disoriented. This can lead them to get out of bed and have a fall or even try to leave their homes in the night. This is a problem that may not seem serious but it can have very serious ramifications. You will need to be prepared to deal with elderly disorientation at night if you are a caregiver. The following tips can give you some guidelines to help the elderly in your care and keep them safe at night, no matter how they wake-
• Make their bed safe - The first step in making sure that the elder person does not hurt himself or herself upon waking with disorientation is to make their bed safe. The disorientation that many elderly feel often occurs right at waking. This makes it crucial that you take safety measures before they even get up. You can do this by adding safety rails to the bed to keep them from falling out. In addition, the safety rails can also function as grab bars which can help them to sit up safely and get their bearings.
• Prevent falls from happening - The number one type of accident that occurs with seniors who are disoriented at night is falls. Falls can be very serious and even life threatening. This makes it crucial that you do everything you can in order to prevent falls from happening. Lighting is the number one way to help prevent falls. There are motion sensors lights that turn on as someone approaches them. In addition, rugs should be non slip and there should be a clear path for the senior to travel to the bathroom and the kitchen at night.
• Consider the effects of medication - Elder people take a lot of prescriptions. This makes it important that if the senior person in your care is taking any kind of medication and is experiencing disorientation at night (or any time), then you should consider the medication that they are taking. Sometimes all it takes to resolve nighttime disorientation is talking to the doctor and switching medications. This is especially important if the senior is taking several medications which could be causing this effect by being mixed together.
• Alarm the doors of the home - If the senior in your care is experiencing nighttime disorientation it is important to consider if they can leave the home at night. Unfortunately, the elderly can often become so mixed up at night that they leave their home and are exposed to all sorts of problems when outside at night. If your elderly loved one is having this problem it is important to make sure that any door that they can leave through is alarmed. This will then wake someone and allow them the chance to stop the senior before they get outside.
• Consult a doctor if the problem is chronic - It is important to understand that nighttime disorientation in seniors is not a regular part of aging. While everyone can have moments of nighttime disorientation, if the problem is becoming chronic then you should consult a doctor. Chronic nighttime disorientation can be sign of a serious medical issue and treatment should be sought immediately. Only by having a medical checkup can the doctor diagnose if there is another problem that is occurring. Do not assume that your loved one is simply aging. You should get a medical consultation to determine what the underlying cause is.