older woman using a tablet The second, shortest month of the year is all about love and heart health awareness, but February is also National Senior Independence Month. As we age, it’s challenging not to become dependent on others. Whether help is needed to carry heavy objects, move around the house or dress in the morning, we all lose some independence over time.

If your loved one does not require skilled nursing care but has started to lose self-sufficiency, what are some important tips to keep in mind?

Take Advantage of Technology

We all want our loved ones to be safe and happy, whether we can be with them or not. If you live far apart, one way to make sure your aging family members are doing well is through technology. Our older loved ones may not have grown up with smartphones and tablets, but the benefit of their use can be two-fold.

Do you feel completely comfortable with your parents’ independent lifestyle? Teach mom and dad how to set up social media accounts or video call. That way, you can know they are safe with one press of a button.

Secondly, the advent of technology extends beyond our smartphones. Security systems, automated lighting, and video doorbells are just a few examples of how the home can be kept safe from the dangers inside and out. Adequate lighting may help prevent falls, while a house alarm deters unwanted guests from the property.

Keep the House Clean

What are the benefits of maintaining a clean home? For seniors, some of the advantages are critical to health and safety:

  1. Reduced Trip Hazards: Piles of clutter can be a fall accident waiting to happen.
  2. Cleaner Indoor Air: Dust and other allergens in the air can have a negative impact on respiratory health.
  3. Regular Exercise: Your loved one may no longer be able to run 10 miles but moving around the house to clean gives them inadvertent exercise – and it’s a sign of good physical health.

One early sign of dementia can be an unorganized or cluttered living environment. When the house is in disarray, it’s an indication your loved one may no longer be able to safely live alone.

Make Necessary Upgrades

Independent living often makes older individuals feel dignified. When self-sufficiency starts to slip, the answer could be as simple as making a few adjustments to the home:

  • Does the bathroom need grab bars?
  • Is there a step stool for reaching high shelves?
  • Are the staircase banisters loose?
  • Do cords present a trip hazard?
  • Are rooms poorly lit?
  • Does a wheelchair ramp need to be installed?

When these issues are addressed sooner rather than later, your loved one can continue to live independently and be kept safe at home.
Whether your aging loved one needs short-term care to reach recovery goals or requires long-term care, West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center is a comfortable and secure skilled nursing facility. To learn more about our services, contact us today!