This month we focused on home safety, and this largely goes hand in hand with aging in place. Both the safety of your home and aging in place require a good quality of life. The improvements in technology, healthcare, and the access to information has made achieving a good quality of life relatively easy. Determining what a ‘good’ quality of life looks like is largely based on personal opinion, but there are some constants. Below I have outlined some of these constants and given some tips and tricks to help you live the life you want in our golden years.
- The Safety of You and Your Home
The safety of you and your home is one of the most, if not the most, important factors determining your quality of life. This is also the biggest hurdle to aging in place because if your home isn’t equipped for safety then the result could be fatal. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people over the age of 65, most of these falls happen in the home. On top of that, once a person has a fall they are twice as likely to fall again. Hence the importance of making your home safe. Luckily, there are a lot of resources, products, and home modifications out there to keep you and your home safe. One great resource is www.ageinplace.org, this site is run by the National Aging in Place Council and is dedicated to providing quality information and resources for people in their golden years. A few home modifications that can improve home safety are removing rugs and wires to reduce the chance of tripping and installing a railing on the stairs or a stair lift will make the stairs safer. Some products designed to reduce falls:
- Grab Bars- the particular ones linked are great for the bathroom because they are textured, offering a better grip. They can be installed in the bathroom or any wall to help prevent falls.
- Hip Kits- perfect if you have had a hip, knee or back injury that hinders you from getting dressed, if it is painful to get dressed, or If bending over could cause a fall.
- Mobility Products like a Cane or Walker- Mobility products are designed to keep you moving independently and to reduce your chance of falling. Something like a cane or walker is good because they are low profile and provide needed support.
- Shower Benches- these allow the user to sit while taking a shower which will reduce the chance of injury and allow more independence.
The other 3 factors outlined below have a role in ensuring your safety, as well as impacting your quality of life.
- 2. Health
A healthy diet with consistent exercise will go a long way in helping you maintain a high quality of life. It is essential, especially when getting older, to make sure that you are getting adequate nutrients. As one ages the vitamins and nutrients that one needs changes, so it is important to supplement or change eating habits to combat these changes. Check out our supplement line, here.
One should be regularly exercising to keep your body healthy and to prevent injury. Somewhat ironic, a lot of people say pain or fear of injury are reasons they do not exercise, but not being active can actually increase your chances of injury. Regular exercise improves your endurance, strength, flexibility, and promotes muscle memory which are all important pieces in protecting your safety. In response to pain, compression wear can be worn to reduce your pain and allow you to continue being active. It is important to keep in mind that exercise doesn’t just mean going out and running, it can be as simple as starting and maintaining a garden. It’s as simple as getting up and moving!
Healthcare is the last piece of health. Your access to healthcare can make a big difference in your quality of life so make sure you have the resources you need or know where or how to get them. You should also think about the medical conditions and any difficulties you may have in everyday living. It is important to manage your medical conditions and plan for any complications that could occur. Luckily, there are caregivers out there that will come to you. To find local resources contact Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or visit https://eldercare.acl.gov.
- 3. Social Interaction & Community
Social interaction and belonging to a community are very important for mental health, which has an impact on your quality of life. It not only improves mental health but also can help with your physical health. Having a group of friends or family can help you get out and be active and can help you in a range of ways. They can give you access to information, quality advice, and can often give you valuable feedback on something like a product or doctor. Having people, you can lean on and ask questions can take a lot of the guess work out of the equation. The best part is they can give you support, love, care, and help in time of need.
- 4. Independence
All the above aspects affecting your quality of life have something to do with your independence. This is your ability to do everyday things and having control of the situations. Some barriers to independence are level of mobility and feeling confined due to incontinence or treatments for an issue, such as asthma. When it comes to mobility, sometimes it is out of our control, but other times it is in your control. By maintaining your health with proper nutrition and exercise, your body will be able to combat the changes due to aging, that can decrease your mobility. There are also a lot of mobility devices out there that can increase your mobility and aid in safety. You can get something as simple as a cane or as complex as a power scooter!
When it comes to incontinence, it can really hinder everyday life. This is due to feeling embarrassed, not using proper products, or not having access to treatment. All these things may make someone pass on social activities or refrain from leaving the house. We have 4 previous blogs on incontinence that can offer a lot of advice and information, you can find them, here. Using proper products can also help you gain some control over your incontinence. The Wellness Brief products let you take control of your incontinence, it compartmentalizes the liquid so that it does not touch your skin, allowing you to have full control on changes and maintain a hygienic area. They come in either a brief or underwear version, and are an incredible breakthrough in incontinence products. As for being confined for treatments, there has been a push for smaller and portable versions. The Flyp, is one of these products that has revolutionized the nebulizer world. It won best product at the Spring Medtrade show this past year and has helped countless people since. This little guy packs a huge punch in little time and is rechargeable and is smaller than your smartphone. Check it out, here, for more information.
As you can tell there are a lot of factors that go into your quality of life and your safety. It is so important to be informed and to have the proper equipment. We are always here to help you along the way. Reach out to us if you ever need help with products, finding a clinic, getting resources, or anything else related to your health and wellbeing that you may need help with.
Contacts us by:
Phone- (281) 619-2050