Living Independently in Old Age


Growing older into retirement can, and should be, an enjoyable time of life. The opportunity exists to relax after retirement and to pursue hobbies that one has not yet had time for. Spending time with family and giving back to the community can enrich the lives of seniors. A person can pass their wisdom and knowledge and rest happily on the successes of the past.
Old age can be a time for socialization and creativity. However, many might worry that as certain physical faculties start to weaken that independence can be lost. However, with certain preparations and some renovating of the home, senior citizens can maintain much of the independence and dignity they have earned in their hardworking lives despite infirmity.
As we age, our balance and mobility can sometimes deteriorate. With the loss of calcium in our bones and the lessening of balance, fractures and broken bones can occur from falls that would not have fazed one back in one's youth. Luckily, there are a few tips to consider when it comes to making a home safer.
A Safer Bathroom
For the bathroom, along with considering getting a bathtub with a walk in door, consider rubber mats that will not cause tripping to reduce the unneeded risk of slipping. Handrails near the tub and the toilet can help with unsteadiness when trying to stand or sit down. For safety, it is a great idea to join a medical alert company and to keep a button, or a nearby emergency phone that will prompt emergency workers in the event that a fall does happen.
A good place for this is the bathroom, since often the surfaces in a bathroom can be slippery and wet. To prevent from adding more of a risk of slipping, it is great idea to avoid the use of bath oils since they tend to leave residues. For better and safer results, moisturize with a lotion or cream right after one is out of the shower on a carpeted surface to take the danger away.
Additionally, the risk of burns while using the shower or bathtub can be heavily minimized just by setting the maximum water temperature on the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Making the Kitchen Safer
In the kitchen, certain accidents can be greatly diminished by putting normally used products in drawers and cabinets close to eye level. If anything is put too low to the ground, it might cause straining of the back or a fall. Anything too high that requires a stool could cause an unneeded fall in the case of sudden vertigo or loss of balance. To prevent accidents with kitchen tools, certain handles with better grips for arthritic hands can be found.
A Safe Home
For the rest of the house, certain simple changes can make a load of difference. Install rails and keep stairs from getting slippery. Keep phones in most of the rooms so that no one has to rush and potentially fall to reach a ringing phone. Having bright lighting and keeping a nightlight in every room can ensure that there is never a risk of tripping in the dark. To prepare for the occasional power outage, keep a flashlight in every room as well. Installing a carpet is also a very good idea, since it helps prevent slipping and adds a coziness and warmth to a room.
It is encouraged that one does not use rugs that could pose the pernicious danger of tripping. Furniture should be sturdy, and most importantly, out of the way. The same goes for power cords and other appliances or convenience items that could pose a danger. For less hassle, doorknobs can be easily changed to be easier to open and less of a problem for those with different types of arthritis in their hands.