The decision many seniors face to age in place versus moving to senior living isn’t just an emotional or a lifestyle one. According to the CDC, aging in place requires the ability to live in one’s own home safely, independently, and comfortably. There are many steps that seniors and their loved ones can take to ensure that they can continue living on their own at home while maintaining a level of safety and independence.
Regarding physical safety, falls are the leading cause of injuries, trauma-related hospital admissions, and injury-related deaths in Americans aged 65 and up. Prevention begins at home with a thorough review of your loved one’s living space. Consider making your loved one’s home safer by decluttering, enhancing lighting, and installing items like railings, grab bars, and shower chairs to prevent potential accidents.
In addition to making sure that their home is free from hazards, you may want to consider talking with your loved one about installing home security cameras* in and around their home. Initially, your loved one may be resistant to the idea, but here are some compelling reasons as to how they can make a meaningful difference in their safety while giving you a sense of relief:
- Some security cameras can act as a two-way communication system, allowing your loved one to reach out to you when needed and vice-versa.
- Strategic placement of cameras can help you monitor for unusual motion and ensure that your loved one’s home is secure against unwelcome visitors.
- Security cameras allow you to perform visual checks on your loved one from afar to ensure that they haven’t suffered a fall or any other injury.
- Some security cameras can detect safety hazards such as dropping temperatures and the presence of smoke inside the home.
- If a security camera is not an option for your loved one, you may want to look into medical alert systems that will allow them to reach out for help in an emergency.
If your loved one gives you, or anyone else, permission to access the cameras and do periodic check-ins, be sure to set some ground rules first. For example, make it clear that you will only check in on them during certain times of the day and schedule regular audio calls. They mustn’t feel their privacy is being invaded but rather that their safety is of the utmost concern.
*LCB Senior Living would like to thank student Joey A. for recently using our blog as a resource for a school project and recommending this topic and source to us.