We Need Resources for Aging in Place

 

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Dear Benchmark,

My business partner and I have owned a local housekeeping service for over 18 years now. Many of our clients have been with us since we started and are now retired. As they have grown older, we have expanded our support to help with more than just cleaning services.

We now provide assistance to seniors with everything from picking up groceries at the market to dropping off dry cleaning. A good percentage of our older clients have adult children who live in other areas of the state and the country. For many of these families, we’ve become their eyes and ears with regard to how their senior loved one is really doing.

While we definitely don’t want to get in to the business of assessing safety or evaluating risk factors, we thought we should have a list of resources families could turn to for guidance. Concerns about falls are ones we hear most.

Do you have any educational resources related to falls that we can pass along to the adult children and loved ones of our older clients?

Sincerely,
Debra

Resources for Senior Safety at Home

Dear Debra:

I can see how easy it would be for older clients who’ve trusted you in their homes for many years to ask you for more assistance. With more older adults choosing to age in place for as long as possible, help with those types of activities is certainly in demand.

We created the Benchmark Senior Living Live Well at Home program because we were getting more and more questions like yours. Falls are always one of the biggest fears adult children express to us.

And we do have some suggestions you can pass along to families.

First, many adult children don’t realize that their loved one’s home might be their greatest fall risk factor. Falls continue to be a leading cause of injury for older adults. And more falls happen at home ---especially in the bathroom--- than any other place.

Conducting a home safety assessment can literally be lifesaving for seniors. It can help families identify hazards that put their older loved one at higher risk for a fall. Those hazards range from torn carpeting to a towel bar being improperly used as a grab bar in a bathroom.

A few resources for seniors and their families to turn to for help conducting an assessment include:

• The National Council on Aging has a comprehensive online Fall Prevention Resource Center. One tool that might be particularly helpful to families is Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.
• Benchmark Senior Living’s Home Visit Program is another option for seniors in New England states. Older adults and their adult children can schedule a time to have one of our team members visit to help identify potential safety challenges.

I hope this information allows you provide families with the resources they need to keep a senior loved one safe!

 
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