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What Five Things Could Improve Safety for Seniors in Their Home?

Safety for seniors becomes an issue the older people get.

Care for Aging Veterans

Care for Aging Veterans

When a person moves through their 60s and into their 70s, then hopefully their 80s, they will lose strength. This loss of strength will affect balance. That will affect their safety. For seniors, safety can be compromised and difficult to overcome, at least not without the right home improvements and modifications or support.

There are a number of things family can do to help the seniors in their family stay safer, especially if they prefer to remain at home for the rest of their life. If the older adult is a veteran, The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may assist with the costs.

1. Medical alarm bracelets and necklaces save lives.

Medical alert devices can help older adults remain independent in the comfort of their home while having the peace of mind knowing that help will be there if necessary. These devices are so much better than just relying on a phone because they are water-resistant and can be worn at all times—even in the shower.

2. Home care support helps and the VA may help with costs.

When adult children, siblings, a spouse, and other family begin talking about hiring a home care aide, it can be met with the wrong perspective. However, when the elderly person sees that hiring a home care aide could help them get out of bed, get dressed, take care of the house, prepare meals, get to the store, visit with friends, and do many other things they have had to give up because of the loss of strength or other health issue, they might be more open to the idea.

On top of that, home care aides often look at safety and find ways to improve this for their elderly clients.

3. Adult day care is another option to consider.

As our older adult population is increasing so are available adult day care programs.

These program offer family members respite care while offering the older adult social and recreational activities and custodial care. Many facilities offer flexible care options such as full-day or half-day.

4. Installing grab bars can help.

Grab bars, when properly installed in a tub or shower, provide physical support to elderly men and women. They can hold onto these bars as they step into and out of the tub or shower. Because they are anchored into the wall studs, they are much different than towel bars. If an elderly person grabs onto a towel bar when they begin to slip, it
will most likely rip free of the wall, leading to a devastating fall. Grab bars will support them.

5. Better lighting can make a difference.

Eyesight along with balance can be a problem for seniors. Installing overhead lights, adding lamps and having more “layers” of lighting helps. Consider purchasing a portable and flexible task lamp. Increasing lighting can bring on problems with glare. To reduce glare, avoid shiny surfaces on countertops, tables, lighting, and framed art. Use wall paint with light colors and matte finishes instead of gloss finishes. Try to let the sunshine in as much as possible. Dimmer switches can help too. Always be sure to check the light fixture to see what the maximum bulb wattage is and do not exceed the maximum wattage allowed.

The VA may be able to help both veterans and their surviving spouses.

The VA may help with medical alert devices, home care and/or adult day care when the person is a qualified wartime veteran or surviving spouse with low assets and income. Those interested should check into a VA Pension with additional Aid and Attendance or contact Veterans Home Care, a private company for those who want to use their VA Pension with Aid and Attendance primarily for home care or adult day care. Eligible veterans do not have to have fought in combat or have been injured to qualify for the Pension.

The VA’s Specially Adapted Housing grant is designed to help disabled veterans by providing a barrier-free living environment by modifying their home such as making it wheelchair accessible. However, to be eligible, veterans must have a specific service-connected disability.

For more information about Veterans Home Care’s VetAssist Program, call 888-314-6075.

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Bonnie Laiderman

Bonnie Laiderman, founder and president of Veterans Home Care®, has helped more than 14,000 veterans and their spouses receive in home care through the unique VetAssist® Program. Started in 2003 as a one woman operation, Bonnie has overseen the growth of the company to become one of the largest women-owned companies in the St. Louis Metro Region. Veterans Home Care has also earned the Inc. 5000 award of fastest growing companies six times.Now with offices in 10 locations in the United States, Veterans Home Care serves our veterans in 44 states throughout the country.

In addition to growing Veterans Home Care to become the largest provider of its kind in the industry, Bonnie has been a strong supporter of numerous charitable and social organizations with both a local and national impact. Wings of Hope and Lydia’s House have both benefited from Bonnie’s support to continue much needed services to our most vulnerable in need. Bonnie also is a member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, a national society of women leaders. Bonnie serves as Chairperson for the American Red Cross Service Armed Forces Committee.