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Tips for Seniors to Stay in Their Homes Longer

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Its no secret that aging seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. In general, home is where living is the most comfortable and satisfying; a reasonable assumption that would apply to most people not just seniors.

Data from the Office of the Seniors Advocate, British Columbia, supports this assertion as we had stated previously stated in our recent blogpost (Home Instead Exhibits at Awareness for Senior Services).

It is estimated that approximately 93% of the seniors aged over 65 and ~74% of seniors aged over 85 are living independently (private dwellings) in BC; and these trends are likely to continue in the future.

Health Minister Adrian Dix also stated in an interview recently, "We have to provide what most people want, which is the ability to live in their community."

Even for seniors who are looking for a move from home to a care facility for some additional assistance the process is an arduous task with a long lead times. Demand for government-subsidized facilities far exceeds supply: As of August 2017, nearly 1,500 people were on waiting lists for residential care — more than one quarter of those taking up valuable hospital beds while waiting. Another 750 people were waiting for assisted-living places, according to the Office of the Seniors Advocate (source Vancouver Sun, Finding Care for BC Seniors, Jun 18, 2018).

With BC's senior population growing the province's population aged 65 and older is projected to increase sizably from 916,500 this year to more than 1.4 million by 2030, when one out of every four people in B.C. will be a senior. With the health system already pressured, these are staggering numbers imply that more and more seniors will be needing support to live longer and effectively in their homes as they age.   

Senior Care in Burnaby, BCHigh-quality home care services providers such as Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and Vancouver) can help seniors and their families within their community in this effort. With a full range of premium home care services Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and Vancouver) can play a critical role in the mission of keeping senior loved ones where they most want to be i.e. home!

Acting before it get's too late is key for seniors to make this mission a successful outcome. Starting well in advance requires anticipating challenges with daily activities in advance and taking small steps to increase the efficiency of senior living dwellings for later years. Even seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's who are in the early or moderate phase of the disease can continue living at home with the right planning.

Home Instead Senior Care provides the following useful tips which can be quite handy for seniors and their families in preparing to live longer in their homes as they age:
  • Installation of grab bars in bathrooms and long hallways
  • Remove any area rugs or electric cords that could lead to tripping hazards
  • A little expensive option but installing a chair lift may make sense in the long run if there are a lot of stairs in the home
  • Install non-slip surfaces in the tub or shower. Walk-in showers are ideal and putting in shower benches can be handy for seniors to take a shower sitting down.
  • Rearrange kitchen shelves to lower heights for easier access to essentials
  • Ensure smooth walking surfaces in and around the home with the removal of any small steps, gaps etc. which may obstruct canes, walkers etc. and increase fall risks
  • De-clutter the home and remove any old, loose or wobbly furniture
  • Ensure proper lighting in the home; install switches at either end of long hallways, rooms and stairs
  • Some changes to the home may be expensive and so government programs such as the B.C. Home Renovation Tax CreditHome Adaptations for Independence and the federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit can be looked into.
  • Consider using fall alert devices such as Lifeline or Checkmate SOS
  • Have at least one telephone instrument in senior's home with large display and buttons
  • Have important numbers on speed dial on the senior's telephone – including their doctors, close family, neighbors and home care service provider.


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