As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to loom across the Chicagoland area, it is imperative that seniors remain in their homes as much as possible. Homewatch CareGivers Northshore recognizes that our clients are at the most risk with the virus and so we strive to ensure that as they shelter-in-place that their homes are safe. Several safety concerns that must be addressed for seniors to stay safe in their own home include falls, food and nutrition, decline in cognitive functioning, and loss of mobility.
The biggest concerns for seniors living alone is the risk of falling. Falls can happen at any time and for several different reasons. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults aged 65 years and older.
Some of the safety precautions that our caregivers take to ensure our client’s safety include:
- Removing clutter and hazardous items from walking paths, such as rugs and small furniture
- Ensuring seniors use their assistive devices appropriately, such as walkers and canes
- Install grab bars and handrails where needed
- Ensure proper lighting in the home
- Ensure seniors are wearing appropriate footwear (shoes, nonslip socks)
Food and Nutrition
Having adequate food and nutrition are a very basic and important need for anyone, especially seniors. Often seniors have difficulty maintaining adequate nutrition, whether it be due to difficulty cooking for themselves or not having the mobility or cognitive function to obtain food and groceries. Homewatch CareGivers works with the client and their families to make sure that they have these basic needs by assisting with cooking and operating kitchen appliances, going to the grocery store for them, and ensuring that refrigerators and cabinets are clean of outdated and spoiled food.
Decline of Cognitive Functioning
Part of living alone successfully is being able to complete day to day tasks, such as paying bills and taking medications, especially for seniors. Missing even one dose or mixing up prescriptions can have compounding effects on a senior’s cognition. Caregivers can provide reminders to ensure that seniors take their medications appropriately and at the correct times.
Loss of Mobility
A decrease in ability to move around and/or leave the home also adds to the list of safety concerns for seniors wanting to stay at home. It can lead to difficulty completing daily chores such as laundry and cleaning. Caregivers again play a role in assisting seniors with completing these necessary daily tasks that help to keep their homes a safe and clean environment.
Visit Homewatch CareGivers to read more on Senior Safety and Prevention.