Seniors – What to Do If You Fall

Photo of professional private caregiver and injured senior

Injuries due to falls account for an estimated 2.5 million hospital visits for seniors every year. As the body ages, resilience and immunity weaken and can make slips or falls an increasingly dangerous and expensive misfortune. Many seniors try to do all they can to prevent falls at home when living independently during their retirement years. Installing additional railing, bathroom mats, shower chairs, among other precautions all do their part to assist with senior safety; but sometimes falls still occur, leading to the critical question “what to do if you fall?”

 

Keep Calm

It is advisable to limit the stress of the traumatic situation as much as possible. Sometimes taking a moment to remain still and collect yourself is important to avoid going into a state of shock. Staying as calm as possible is a good initial mindset to take before making the effort to get help. Taking a moment to evaluate yourself may be further useful in determining how hurt or injured you really are. Trying to get up too quickly or moving the wrong way may put pressure on areas of the body you hadn’t even realized were damaged and worsen the problem. If you feel you are able to get up again safely without assistance, it is advisable to first roll over on your side. Finding a sturdy object to raise your self up from a balanced kneeling position can be a safer way to rise up again.

 

Draw Attention To Yourself

Seniors are not always fortunate enough to have a spouse, relative, or other people present when incidents of senior falls occur, and that can be a troubling situation for an elder who is afraid and in pain following a hazardous slip. However, if you are in a house or a nursing center where others are around, it is important to do what you can to draw attention to yourself. Sometimes an elder’s voice is not strong enough to call out and be heard from inside their room after senior falls, but using what’s around you to make noise to alert others can be beneficial to drawing the attention and assistance that is needed.

 

Use Your Contact Resources

We are fortunate to live in an age where there are numerous methods available to contact help. Cell phones are becoming more popular with seniors and may be kept in a pocket rather than attached to a wire on top of a kitchen counter that can’t be reached when lying hurt on the floor. Other simple alert services such as Life Alert can provide emergency response to you at the touch of a button, worn on a bracelet or necklace. Buttons signaling for help can also be placed on walls or cabinets to contact security organizations. These services are useful when a senior is too disoriented from a fall or injury to talk in detail with an emergency responder about the situation or list an address to 9-11.

 

Notify Your Doctor and Your Family

When a fall happens, even if it was not an especially hazardous one, it is a good idea to alert your doctor and family about the situation. Doctors may be able to provide some advice or have a perspective about the possible affects of the fall that you may not have considered. Family members may be available to assist you in selecting the precautions needed to take the needed extra steps to prevent other falls in the future, as well as providing the support and comfort that you may need after the traumatic event. Aging and having one’s body becoming more vulnerable may be a frustrating and potentially embarrassing development, but it is important to accept where your body is at physically and come to terms with the reality of what needs to be done to preserve and protect your physical health properly.  Learn what to do if you fall for the peace of mind for yourself and those who love you.

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Statistics

Smiling senior man at the beach

 

As aging adults enter their senior years, taking every precaution to protect a body growing gradually more frail becomes an essential course of action for prolonging a senior’s life and health. Skin often becomes even more delicate during senior years, and applying sunblock is a crucial safeguard toward the various types of skin cancer that put seniors at risk.

 

The most aggressive kind of skin cancer is melanoma, and it is also the sixth most common kind of cancer overall. The majority of those diagnosed with melanoma cancer are seniors over the age of sixty, putting adults in their golden years at higher risk for the disease. When melanoma has spread to other areas of the body, it is called metastatic (advanced) melanoma.

 

Once Melanoma has spread from the original tumor site to other serious places in the body (lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain, etc.), it is identified as being Stage IV Melanoma.

 

How Many Are Affected by Metastatic Melanoma?

 

The American Caner Society has estimated that there are over 75,000 cases of melanoma in the U.S. alone, resulting in under 10,000 deaths per year. Approximately 12% of metastatic melanoma cases end fatally each year.

 

 

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Risks

 

Lack of precaution for ultra violet rays is the leading danger for metastatic melanoma. When sunblock or appropriate clothing covering for hot weather days are neglected, it increases risk of skin cancer.

The risk of melanoma is greatest for seniors who have weaker immune systems, fair skin complexions, spend much time in the sun, or have a family history of melanoma.

 

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Prognosis

 

For Metastatic Melanoma in seniors, the typical 5-year survival rate is about 15-20%, and the ten year survival rate is 10-15%.

 

The severity of stage IV melanoma will vary based on where exactly the cancer has spread to in a senior’s body. The worst place melanoma can spread is the inner organs, but metastatic melanoma is somewhat less severe when it spreads instead to other parts of the skin or distant lymph nodes.

 

Other factors affect the survival rate as well. Older age often leads to higher mortality likelihood with metastatic melanoma, with age 70 and above being the most impacted age range. Also, Caucasian men are prone to be at the highest risk of developing melanoma.

 

Is Metastatic Melanoma Treatable for Seniors?

 

Catching the disease early on provides the best chance of effective treatment. Irregular moles and very bad sunburns may be indicators of melanoma in seniors. Once melanoma has reached stage IV, surgery efforts to remove melanoma are rarely successful. There are drug treatment and biologic therapies available to treat and slow the progression of the disease and better the quality of life for affected seniors with metastatic melanoma.

 

 

 

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Most Common Causes of Senior Vision Loss

Male optician examining senior patients eyes through slit lamp in clinic

 

It is a common affliction brought on by aging for the five senses to gradually diminish in seniors. Eyesight is one of the most prevalent bodily functions to deteriorate in elder years, and it can be a very distressing and alarming issue. Just under 7 million senior Americans over the age of 65 have developed severe vision impairment.

 

Understanding the different vision disorders brought on by age may help seniors recognize problems and seek available treatments more quickly before serious vision damage is done.

 

The three primary vision disorders in seniors are

  • Age related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

These terrible eye conditions often go undiagnosed and unnoticed for long periods of time because they progress very gradually. These conditions frequently go undetected until serious damage has been done and it become more difficult to treat effectively. Older adults may be wise to schedule moderately routine eye exams, understanding that they as seniors are more susceptible to these disorders.

 

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – this eye condition slowly damages the retina, leaving peripheral vision mostly intact, but alarmingly making anything you try to directly focus on blur and disappear. The safety risks of AMD are obvious, as reading, facial recognition, and navigating spaces are severely hampered with this type of vision loss.

 

AMD is not currently curable, however, medications are available to slow down its progression considerably. Fortunately, AMD is not physically painful to the body or eyes, nor does it damage or effect any other bodily functions. Seniors developing AMD often seek care in assisted living facilities for help with certain daily tasks.

 

Glaucoma – Symptoms of glaucoma include increased pressure in the eye cavity, causing nerve damage, vision impairment, and even pain in the eye. Glaucoma educes tunnel vision in seniors .

 

Treatments for glaucoma are surgical as well as pharmaceutical, able to slow the progression of the degeneration and reduce pain, however there is no cure for the disorder. Glaucoma is exceedingly prominent in seniors over the age of 70, so vision checks are recommended for seniors in their later years to detect and hinder the progression of this disorder which can also dramatically effect a senior’s ability to live independently and safely.

 

Cataracts – This disorder clouds the lens of the eye by clumping naturally occurring proteins in the eye. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness in the world. Men and women of all ages can develop cataracts, however cataracts are most prevalent for senior vision loss.

 

Cataracts are relatively easily detected through basic eye inspections. This eye disorder is characterized by blurred vision and fading of color comprehension. Although cataracts do not cause pain, they are capable of deteriorating vision to the point of total blindness, hindering independent living for senior citizens. Cataracts may be treated with drops and these eye clumps may be removed with surgery.

 

 

The causes of these eye disorders are not fully known, however, they are generally able to be detected and slowed in their progression. It is important for seniors to be aware of their higher proneness for developing vision impairment and to schedule semi-regular eye inspections in their later years to ensure prolonged independent living and quality of life.

 

 

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Senior Driving – How To Keep Your License

handsome senior man driving a car

Senior citizens in America often have a stereotypical stigma for poor driving capabilities. However, getting older does not automatically impair your driving skills. The changes brought on by age in senior’s bodies may affect physical and cognitive traits used for driving, but there are ways that seniors can consciously improve their driving skills to keep their license for longer in spite of these changes by being careful.

 

How exactly does age affect senior driving abilities?

 

  • Alzheimer and dementia – As senior Americans enter into their later years, they often become more susceptible to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, diseases that affect memory, thinking, and problem solving skills.
  • Eyesight and hearing impairment – Hindrances to vision and hearing brought on by aging can affect senior driving for reading signs and environmental cues. Senior eyesight may become too sensitive to the sun through the windshield or headlights at night as well. Seniors can check their eyesight and hearing at a doctors office to be deemed safe for the road.
  • Arthritis disease – diseases affecting the hands and dexterity can be harmful to senior driving abilities when handling the wheel.
  • Bad joints – Additionally, the joints used in turning the wheel, putting on a seatbelt, and operating a car’s brakes and accelerator can become an issue for senior driving.
  • Reflexes – Certain cognitive impairments can affect the reflexes necessary for making fast reactions to traffic occurrences or responding to traffic signals and signs, or abrupt stops. Aging may result in a shorter attention span and reduced multi-tasking skills needed for navigating a dynamic road.
  • Physical disabilities and pain – Sometimes injuries and health development result in states of pain and discomfort that can become distracting and hazardous to a senior’s ability to focus on the road.
  • Over-cautiousness – Seniors are often aware of their fragility and cognitive problems, but do not want to risk losing their license by making mistake. This results in some seniors being overly cautious and driving dangerously slow (to avoid speeding or accidents) but may put others at risk who are trying to maneuver around them.

 

Seniors viewing loosing their drivers license as equivalent to loosing their freedom in the 21st century world. To make sure that you are still capable of road traveling, a senior may submit themselves for a driver refresher course. Costs for driver refresher courses are often covered by the AARP for senior members.

 

 

Smart Driving Tips to Help You Keep Your License

 

  • Only drive in familiar areas, plan your route ahead of time for new destinations to reduce anxiety and possible confusion
  • Try to make trips to places that are close and easy to reach.
  • Allow for extra time when making a trip or outing, so you are not rushed or prone to make any irrational driving decisions
  • Do not drive when you feel stress or exhaustion. Arrange for a carpool or get a ride when you feel these symptoms.
  • Be aware of the side effects of medicines, and whether or not it is advisable to operate machinery or drive after a dose.
  • Always wear a seatbelt when driving; it is not only critical for safety, but the law of the land.
  • For seniors who use cell phones or smartphones, always be sure not to add the extra hazardous distraction of talking on the phone or texting while driving.
  • Regularly check your mirrors while driving to maintain a sense of your surroundings.
  • For the safety and comfort of others, try not to drive to close behind anyone driving in front of your vehicle.

 

When is it time to give up driving?

 

Pay attention for the exterior signs and indications of when it may be at last time to consider giving up driving for the sake of your health and safety. If you are experiencing:

  • Large amounts of other drivers honking at you frequently
  • Have you been having many close-calls or accidents lately
  • Are you getting lost often while on the road
  • Have members of your family expressed concern

 

Other Transportations Options

 

Retiring your license is not the end of the world. A senior can find many alternative methods for getting around when driving is not longer an option. You may get a ride from members of your family when living at home. Public transportation like buses and cabs are available in city areas. Many senior living facilities offer transportation for senior residents as well.

 

 

doggie car

Assisted Living Checklist – 14 Questions to Ask

 

Businesswoman With Checklist Showing Thumb Up

 

Who Benefits from Assisted Living?

Over a million Americans enjoy the benefits of assisted living as a means to stay active and maintain a degree of independence to increase the quality of life. The purpose of assisted living is to help seniors with certain daily activities, as well as helping seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Choosing an assisted living facility can be one of the most important decisions you make in you later adult life. There are many factors to weigh in when selecting an option for your senior care, and it can be hard to think of everything when researching and asking your questions. Here is a helpful checklist of components to review when choosing assisted living to be sure you are getting the care you personally need.

Did the facility make a good first impression? √
What did your gut instinct tell you when you first came in to visit? It may be important to weigh in the feeling or vibe you got as you walked into the assisted living facility. Did the place look clean—was the staff friendly?

How much care/support is available at all times? √
It is fairly standard now for assisted living facilities to offer 24/7 availability for care and support. So if a facility offers anything less, seek elsewhere.

Is it in your price range / budget? √
Is the assisted living facility in your price range, or does it at least offer a tier of service that you can afford and still meets your needs? Bigger isn’t always necessarily better, and you may not need all the services offered on the higher price tier options.

Are the basic services provided what you need? √
Carefully review all the amenities and services available from each of your prospective assisted living options. The most common services offered to senior care residents are dining services, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities, and sometimes transportation as well. Look to see what additional services may be offered beyond those basics, such as continence assistance, physical therapy, medications, etc.

Does the facility have a good reputation? √
All assisted living facilities are subject to regulation, inspection, and rating by government agencies. Be sure to check the reputation of any prospective assisted living facility, not only if they meet the bare minimum standards of the government, but also check testimonials from real residents. This information is made available online. If an assisted living facility does not even have a quality web site, that may be a red flag as well.

Is the facility in a good location? √
It is imperative to make sure a prospective facility is located in a good neighborhood, so a resident may feel safe. Also check to see if an assisted living facility is conveniently located near places you may want to visit frequently, like a grocery store, theater, or your family’s home. This may not matter as much if your facility offers good transportation services; but proximity can be a factor in your having access to the commodities you need or being visited as much as you would like.

How’s the view / ambiance? √
It is important to some seniors to have a great view or live in an aesthetically pleasing environment. Look around and investigate if an assisted living facility is well kept with a soothing, organized layout. Is there a garden? Does the place feel warm and inviting? If ambiance matters to you, be sure to ask these questions.

Is the floor plan easy to follow? √
Apart from pretty scenery, check if the floor plan is easy to follow and if hallways and ramps are conducive to seniors with mobility needs. Is there appropriate signage? Many seniors with cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s may get lost in a place with a confusing floor plan.

Is the food good? √
The dining plan may be one of the most important factors. Food brings joy and flavor to life. Be sure to ask the staff what food plans are available, and ask around to get a second opinion of the cuisine quality from online testimonials.

What comes with the room? √
Does the facility offer amenities for television? Are there private bathrooms? Do rooms come with conveniences like mini-fridges?

What is allowed to be brought in (furniture/pets?) √
Make sure you find out whether you may bring in your own furniture or a pet before checking in. Evaluate the space ahead of time so you can have an idea of which of your personal belongings will fit in your assisted living facility.

What is the activity schedule? √
Research what the opportunities are for activities, recreation, socializing with other residents. It can quickly be boring at a place where there is nothing to do and no one to talk to and no way of getting to know each other.

Does the facility take feedback/complaints seriously? √
Find out how easy is it for residents to leave feedback, make complaints, or be heard by the management. Make sure there is an efficient process in place for evaluating and addressing the unique needs of residents as they arise.

Does the facility feel safe? √
Make a note of whether there are locks on the doors, alarms, or 24-hour response system alerts in rooms to call the staff for emergencies? Does the facility do background checks on employees? This will add to your peace of mind and help you feel like you are truly cared for.

 

 

 

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Great Exercises For Seniors

 

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Exercise is an activity that even the youngest and healthiest people often neglect to make a habit of doing. But exercise is a secret weapon for a senior to stay healthy and independent for longer into their golden years.  There are plenty of great exercises for seniors that can keep them active and refreshed.

Maintaining fitness and exercising does not necessarily mean lifting heavy weights and undertaking rigorous, intense workout regiments for long times. However, avoiding lethargy and inactivity can boost your general health and make you feel good throughout the day.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has recommended four basic types of exercise for seniors that accommodate an elder’s pace and promote health.

 

Strength Exercises: For seniors, strength exercises are often condensed down to a manageable lightweight dumbbell workout. The goal is not so much to build mass as it is to stimulate muscles and maintain strength.

Do not exert yourself too much; select a weight that feels just enough to require a little umph. Then use smooth, steady movements to bring the weight or dumbbell into position. Avoid sharp jerking movements or locking your joints. Don’t forget to breathe steadily. Holding your breath for too long while lifting can negatively affect your blood pressure.

If you find yourself exhausted after exercise, then that is a good indicator that you are working too hard.

 

Balance Exercises: Improving and strengthening the lower half of the body will help with balance and reduce the risk of falls among seniors. Falling is one of the leading causes of disabilities among seniors, with over 300,000 elders treated for broken hips every year.

Thus it is crucial to do whatever it takes to avoid such an accident in your older age. Some good balance exercises for seniors may include lowering down to do squats while holding on to a table edge; standing on one foot; walking heel to toe,  back leg / side leg raises.

It is unwise for seniors to use heavy weights for squats.  Balance exercises for seniors can be done at any time as long as their is steady support near by to ensure safety in case of a balance misstep.

 

Stretching Exercises: Stretching loosens up the joints and allows for more freedom of movement for seniors; this allows you to be more active. It is wise to do some light stretching as a warm up before attempting a more intense workout in order to better prepare the body. Never bounce into a stretch because doing so will put unnecessary strain on your joints.

A stretch may be mildly uncomfortable, but should never be painful. Take time to research which stretching exercises are more your pace.

 

Endurance Exercises: Endurance exercises for seniors include activities that raise your heart rate and intensify your breathing. Such exercises include going for a jog, swimming, biking, or even some exerting chores like raking leaves. Although especially intense chores like shoveling snow may prove to be dangerously over-exerting, so it may be wise to give the nice neighbor-boy a few bucks for those grueling undertakings.

Cardio activity is good for improving heart health, as heart problems are very common in older men. Doing about five minutes of cardio at a time will gradually build your endurance and lead to an improved state of health.

How Much Change Is Good For Seniors with Alzheimer’s?

Aging Parents

When a senior loved one has fallen victim to a severely mentally deteriorating disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia, good caregivers often seek to make their living space as safe as possible. Sometimes well-meaning caregivers will change the entire arrangement of a home, swept up in removing hazards and adding locks to avoid accidents. However, caregivers must keep in mind that altering the environment of a senior with cognitive debilitations can also be very disorienting for them as well as helpful.  Not all change is good for seniors with Alzheimer’s.

 

Often times, a senior has lived in the same home for many years, and is still able to navigate through the house with a sort of muscle memory about the layout of their familiar environment. Rearranging the home all together may contribute to some subconscious confusion in addition to their hampered cognition, making it even harder to get around. It may be best to retain a familiar surrounding.

 

Depending on the severity of your loved one’s case, some adjustments may surely need to be made. If a senior with dementia is prone to wander off, then door alarms or other precautions may need to be installed. Also, if a senior generally kept a messy home when living independently, the mess and clutter may add to the confusion as well, and disorient a senior’s sense of space. An untidy environment may also increase the likelihood of trips and falls. So, it will be up to you to gauge the necessary balance between maintaining a comfortable familiar surrounding and reorganizing space for safety purposes.

 

If you feel that changes to your senior loved one’s environment are in fact needed, then it may be best to de-clutter or safety-proof a home gradually. An overnight reconstruction of an Alzheimer patient’s living space can be an overwhelming change; but selectively removing or reorganizing unnecessary items around the home over time can be beneficial.

 

For many seniors with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, routine is the key to sanity. It is often comforting and less mentally exerting to stay in a zone of sameness with fewer surprises.. Whenever you make a change or move something important to an elder in your care, try to be sure that they see you move their cane or bracelet or chair, so that it will register more easily in their mind, instead of coming off as a total surprise to discover later.

 

No one knows your loved one better than you do, so as their caregiver, try to figure out their own personal tolerance level for change when trying to craft an accommodating living space for their cognitive condition

Digital Hearing Aid Benefits

Digital hearing aid

 

The five senses all add to the value of life, and when one sense becomes impaired, it may feel like life has lost some worth. One of the most common impairments among seniors is hearing loss. In fact, one-third of Americans age 65 and older report some kind of hearing impairment due to various factors.

 

When your hearing starts to diminish, it can impair your social life, ability to communicate, and your environmental awareness. Hearing actually assists your sense of balance, and damage to hearing can increase the risk of falls among elders, impeding your ability to live independently.

 

Causes of Hearing Loss

 

The sense of hearing naturally diminishes with the aging process, but damage to hearing can be greatly multiplied with chronic exposure to loud noises. Harmful loud noise may include concert events, ear-bud headphones, lawnmowers, etc. Prolonged exposure to such noises can cause irreversible damage to the inner ear, harming tiny hair cells that carry sound to the brain.

 

Another cause of hearing loss that is easier to treat, is when ear wax, fluid build up, or infection obstruct sound to the middle-ear. A qualified otolaryngologist can reverse the hearing loss by removing such obstructions; however if damage has been done to the inner ear, then you may need to see an audiologist to test your ears for more permanent hearing damage, and review your hearing aid options.

 

Best Hearing Aid Options

 

While Damage to the inner ear is permanent, modern hearing aid technology is more affordable than ever. Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing, but can amplify sounds to significantly improve your hearing and allow you to carry out a normal life. It may take a few weeks or a few months to completely adjust a hearing aid to be right with your individual need. There are varying tiers of sophisticated quality models, based on your degree of need.

 

 

Traditional hearing aids merely amplified all sound, including unwanted background noise, which many seniors found irritating and painful to listen to at times. Hearing aid technology has drastically improved in recent years, as newer digital hearing aids have changed the market. In contrast to just amplifying the volume of everything, digital hearing aids use microphones to for transmitting sound to a computer chip that uses discernment to basically moderate the volume levels as well as filter out the unnecessary background noises.

 

Digital hearing aids provide many conveniences for seniors who are still working or have any amount of tech competence. These hearing aids can use Bluetooth to be synced with a smartphone, allowing you to hear calls more clearly through the hearing aid. You may also configure it to hear audio from your television, music player, or computer if you like.

 

Be sure to meet with professional hearing doctors before selecting which hearing aid is best for you. You may find that a very sophisticated model is not necessary for you at this time, or they may be exactly what you’re looking for. The affordability of quality digital hearing aids is increasing rapidly, as each year sees prices fall. Advanced aids that would have cost thousands five years ago may cost hundreds now. Look into how digital hearing aids apply to your budget and your level of need.

 

Personal Sound Amplifiers (PSAPs) are less sophisticated hearing aids intended for people with only mild hearing loss. These products are sold over the counter and do not require a prescription from a hearing doctor. These primarily amplify sound, with less discernment than digital hearing aids. PSAPs are not subjected to the same quality standards as conventional prescription hearing aids by the Food and Drug Administration; so it would be wise to still consort with a doctor before investing in a PSAP as well. These models typically cost anywhere from $25 to $500 depending on the model or seller.

 

 

At first the process of researching your options, going through tests, and understanding the technology for how a hearing aid can improve your life may seem very daunting, but it is worth the investment in order to restore your role as a communicator in your social sphere and to avoid misunderstandings, having to ask other to repeat themselves, and negating the hazard of falling.

How Electric Scooters Keep Seniors Mobile

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Staying Mobile

 

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as you get older, some body parts just don’t perform as well as they used to anymore. But nowadays there are many ways for elders with impaired mobility to still get around, remain sociable, and perform daily activities.

 

Seniors who are disabled, suffer from poor balance, or are prone to falls, may find a mobility scooter helpful for you moving about easily and safely. Mobility Scooters are electric powered chairs created to assist seniors and handicapped individuals with staying mobile and active.

 

Many associate mobility scooters solely as a tool for the disabled, but these battery-powered scooters are not just for the handicapped. Mobility scooters are also helpful for seniors who are recovering from illness or undergoing rehabilitation following a major surgery. For those who are not comfortable staying on their feet for as long as they would like, scooters can maintain your ability to walk by conserving your energy as you go about your day.

 

Scooters Can Be Stylish and Comfortable

 

Mobility scooters are becoming a more convenient alternative to traditional wheelchairs among seniors. They provide more comfort, speed, and storage than even up-scale electric wheelchairs. These scooters are designed to accommodate people of all weights, heights, and move at varying speeds (4-8 miles per hour) based on the needs of the senior.

 

Seniors riding around enjoy comfortable transportation, as many models feature headrests and armrests, as well as removable baskets to make shopping easier.

 

Using this convenient electronic transportation, seniors can get around more easily at home and in public to help in maintaining their hobbies and social lives.

 

Utility and Security

 

Mobility scooters safely run on electricity rather than gas, allowing seniors to travel up to 30 miles in between battery recharges for some scooter models. Different models and brands of scooters cater to different specific needs.

 

There are scooters for various budgets and applications. Some scooters are best suited to indoor usage, while others are durable for outdoors as well. There are lightweight models, solar powered models for the environmentally conscious, and models that fold up to be compact for increased portability.

 

For security purposes, a special key activates many mobility scooter models in order to avoid theft or the liability of anyone else misusing it.

 

There are some legal limitations to scooter ownership. Those with impaired eyesight, upper body strength, or hearing may not qualify to operate a mobility scooter. So be certain to check with a doctor before investing in a new scooter or buying one from a friend.

 

Mobility Solutions

 

Modern assisted living facilities are aware of the increased use of electric scooters as a mobility solution for seniors, and many elder care communities have been designed with scooter access in mind. Paths and accommodations for scooters are convenient for residents who may not require around-the-clock care, but still have trouble with mobility due to physical conditions or other affects of aging. This scooter accessibility allows these seniors to get around confidently and enjoy their community to the fullest.

 

Electronic scooters are mobility solutions for helping seniors to stay independent for longer, prevent falls, and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.

 

Pricing

 

The cost of a mobility scooter will depend on the model and features included. Scooter can range from a $500 basic model to a $2,000+ for luxury scooter with all the bells and whistles.
Medicare does cover the cost of a mobility scooter for certain qualifying seniors as well as the disabled, if you prove that you have a legitimate medical need for one.

 

 

Prevent Falls in the Shower and Bathroom

hand holding the handrail

Falls at home are the most common injury among seniors, leading to about 300,000 cases of broken hips and other injuries every year. As your natural resilience to nasty falls becomes weaker with age, a good question is, how to make the most slippery places in your home safe?

The most common slip area in a house is typically the bathroom (80% of senior falls occur there), due to its tendency to combine slick tile flooring with wetness.

Sometimes it’s not enough to just do your best to be careful, the best strategy for staying safe can be to make your environment equipped to prevent falls. Installing some safety features in your bathroom can reduce the likeliness of slipping and falling.

Take a moment to review the following utilities designed to keep your home environment safe for vulnerable elders and prevent falls in the shower and bathroom floors of your home:

Shower Chairs

A shower chair allows an elder who has trouble balancing to shower in a secure and seated position. Rubber tips at the end of the chair legs ensure stability in the wet shower area. These chairs work best when used with a handheld showerhead. Shower chairs may have a back rest, or just provide the utility of a stool, depending on your preference.

 

Shower seat

Shower Mats

For seniors who do not have trouble standing in the shower for extended periods of time, a shower mat may provide the right among of slip-prevention. Many falls occur when getting into or out of the tub/shower. So a secure non-slip mat inside the shower, accompanied with a bathroom floor rug outside of the shower can work together to keep you safe.

 

 

 

Anti Slip Mat

Walk-in Tubs

Sometimes a simple mat may not be enough to provide the security a senior needs to feel safe when climbing into and out of the tub. The balance act of lifting one’s legs over the tub edge can be enough to cause a fall. Walk-in tubs provide a way to enter and exit the tub without the worry of losing your balance.

 

 

Tub Grips

If an elder would rather have a little help climbing into the tub, rather than using the convenience of a walk-in tub, then a simple tub grip may be a good choice. Tub grip is a bar that locks on tight to the tub’s edge and provides a sturdy object to grab as you climb in and out of the tub.

 

Adjustable height toilet seatToilet Seat Risers

Many toilets are not designed with the comfort of elders in mind. Seniors sometimes have trouble lowering themselves to sit down when toilets are too low or small. The act of squatting or rising to stand can require balance or lifting strength that is too much on an elder. Toilet seat rising products reduce the distance a senior has to squat down, and provides more safety and comfort. Some are equipped with handlebars for stability when raising one’s self up to stand again.

Towel Rack

Make sure that towel racks are securely attached in the bathroom. Sometimes a towel rack can be improperly installed, or simply loosen over years of use. If a rack comes unattached while an elder in holding it or removing something from it, a fall may occur.

Floor Tiles vs. Carpet

Wooden floors look nice, but they can be slippery and hazardous to seniors moving around the home with socks or slippers on. Decide whether carpet floors would be a safer choice for your home in order to prevent falls.

Slip Strips

Anti-Slip Strips are thin strips made of mildly abrasive anti-slip material that stick to slippery surfaces like wood stairs. They are a neutral black color, so they don’t awkwardly stand out, but are very helpful.

When it comes to preventing slips and falls in the home, taking every precaution can add up to be expensive. Safety-proof your home one step at a time. Evaluate your living environment and decide which areas could be safety-improved based on the specific needs of you or the elder in your care.