There are more than 46 million Americans over the age of 65 today, and that number will more than double by 2060 to a projected 98 million. That will be about 24 percent of the population. With the rising costs of nursing homes and assisted living, seniors want to explore their living options.
A recent study found that 90 percent of seniors over 65 want to stay at home versus moving to an assisted living or medical facility. Check out the best aids for the elderly to help them stay home and get the care they need.
1. Medical Alert Devices
A big fear is that senior parents will fall at home and be alone. A light fall for a senior is a big deal because bones easily break. One of the best devices to put your mind at ease is a reliable medical alert device.
Remember the old commercial—”help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up?” These devices are available in a necklace or a bracelet. When a senior needs help, he or she just presses a button to contact 911 directly.
These personal emergency response systems (PERS) have made significant advances and can even detect a fall without someone even pushing a button. The helpline will contact emergency personnel and the emergency contact immediately.
2. First Alert Motion Sensing Light
Motion sensing lights turn on automatically, so seniors can easily see during the night. They screw directly into existing light sockets, so they are super easy to install.
Seniors can move between rooms and not have to find the light switch. These lights also turn off automatically when the person leaves the room to conserve energy. You can find various bulbs ranging from 50 up to 100 watts.
3. Bathroom Devices
The bathroom may be the most dangerous room in the house. The floors get wet and it can be easy to slip. You may want to explore installing some of these products to help your senior parent use the bathroom with ease:
- Shower chairs help people that can’t stand long
- Higher toilets make it easier to sit
- Tubs with a door where the senior can walk in
- Grab bars near the toilet, shower, and bath
- Roll-in showers with a flat floor
A few simple upgrades will make it easier for your parent to use the bathroom and bathe independently.
4. Kitchen Help
Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is probably the other most dangerous room in the house. There are so many situations that could lead to hazardous problems like fires, falls reaching on high shelves, and hot stovetops.
Here are some products to help make your senior’s kitchen safer.
- Burner alert for stove tops that remind you the stove is on in timed intervals
- Automatic oven shut-offs
- Reacher tools make it easier for seniors to get stuff on top shelves
- Raised dishwashers so the senior doesn’t have to bend
- Rollout shelving in cabinets for easy accessibility
You may also want to lower some items in the kitchen like cabinets, microwaves, and counters. They should be a comfortable height, and you may need them even lower if your parent is in a wheelchair.
5. Sleep Easy in the Bedroom
There are several products to help a senior sleep better. Going to bed can be much easier and relaxing with these devices:
- Mattress toppers make any bed more comfortable
- Bed rails prevent seniors from falling out of bed
- Waterproof pads keep the senior dry
- Bedside caddies help keep everything close like remotes, eyeglasses, pens, books
You should also make sure everything is easy to reach from bed like the phone or cell phone chargers. Keep a small bookshelf handy by the bed to encourage your senior to read because it’s healthy for the mind.
6. Communication Devices to Connect
Technology for seniors makes it easier to stay at home and stay in contact with friends and family. No senior should feel alone and depressed, and there are several devices that make connection much easier than it used to be.
Check out some of these options, and don’t worry—there are options for every budget:
- Amplified cell phones for seniors with hearing problems
- No-contract cell phones for emergencies only
- Tablets or computers with touch-screen to video chat on FaceTime or Skype
You can also check out other voice-activated devices to help make phone calls or answer simple questions.
7. Automatic Pill Dispenser
You don’t want your loved one to forget medication. There are automatic pill dispensers on the market that do more than just give a senior the pills. These dispensers will notify the main contact either by phone, text, or email if pills were not retrieved.
8. Home Monitoring Systems
If you want to know what your loved one is doing, you can get peace of mind with a home monitoring system. You place motion detectors strategically throughout the home to monitor your loved one’s activities.
If something seems abnormal, you can sign up for notifications. Some of these home monitoring systems let you engage with your loved one through texts, phone reminders, and emails.
These are a great option if you are worried about your loved one wearing a personal emergency response system. You can actually check-in and track your loved one at any time.
Services Work Great with Aids for the Elderly
Loved ones aging in at home may also want to look at some available services. Along with aids for the elderly, these services can extend a person’s independence. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging to find services like transportation, meals on wheels, and other services like errand running, cleaning, and check-ups.
If you can’t be there for your loved one, it may be nice to have someone check-in with the senior regularly to make sure all is well. These professionals are trained to help seniors and also give them emotional support.
Having an aging parent can be stressful. Today’s technology and services make it easier for seniors to stay at home instead of moving to a health care facility. Check out our site for more advice on how to care for a loved one and yourself like how to reduce stress naturally.