The elderly are very susceptible to health hazards, even at home. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 90% of all senior citizens will die from a preventable illness. This is mainly due to their fragility and inability to fight off infection or disease. Some seniors’ most common health hazards are falls, respiratory infections, and heart disease.
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death in seniors. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, 1 out of every three seniors will fall each year. Falls can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, and even death. Respiratory infections are also a significant threat to seniors. According to the CDC, respiratory infections account for more than 20% of all deaths in seniors. These infections can cause serious health problems, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Lastly, heart disease is one of seniors’ leading causes of death. According to the CDC, heart disease accounts for more than 30% of all deaths in seniors. Heart disease can cause various problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure.
To help protect your elderly loved ones from these health hazards, you must be aware of them and take steps to reduce the risk of exposure. Here are a few things you can do at home to help you.
Invest in an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is an important asset to have in unexpected emergencies. This is especially true for elderly loved ones, who are often more susceptible to health hazards. If something were to happen and they needed medical care, you would want to be able to access money quickly without having to go through long bureaucratic processes. An emergency fund can help you do just that.
It’s essential to make sure that your emergency fund is accessible promptly. This means that it should be kept in a savings or investment account that offers quick access, such as a checking or money market account. You should also ensure that the account gets insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per account.
Having multiple funding sources in an emergency is also a good idea. It could include saving money in different accounts, insurance policies, and credit cards that offer emergency funds. You’ll get the cash you need quickly with multiple funding sources, no matter what happens.
You can also find ways to save money on existing expenses. You can get energy performance certificates (EPC) to help you lower your utility bills. The assessment ensures you have a path towards energy efficiency. What you would otherwise dedicate to your electricity bill might be better off with your emergency fund.
An emergency fund can be a lifesaver in times of need. Preparing ahead can help ensure that your elderly loved ones receive the best care if something happens.
Making Handicap-Related Renovations
The elderly have a higher risk of falls, which can cause serious injuries. To help prevent falls, you may consider making handicap-related renovations to your home. These renovations can include installing handrails on stairs, adding grab bars in the bathroom, and removing tripping hazards.
You may also want to install an emergency call system to help your loved ones get in touch with you if they fall or need assistance. These systems usually consist of a base station and a wearable device worn around the neck or clipped to clothing. In an emergency, your loved one can press a button on the device to send a signal to the base station. The base station will then contact you or other designated individuals so that you can assist.
These renovations can help make your home safer for the elderly and help to reduce the risk of falls and other injuries.
Ensuring Adequate Nutrition
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients from food. This can lead to deficiencies in specific vitamins and minerals. To help ensure that your elderly loved ones are getting adequate nutrition, you should ensure that they eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
You may also consider supplementing their diet with a multivitamin or vitamin B12 supplement. Vitamin B12 is essential for seniors because it helps to prevent anemia.
Medicine intake is also essential to monitor. Make sure that your loved ones are taking their medications as prescribed and that they understand the potential side effects. You should also ensure they are not taking medicines or interacting.
It’s also a good idea to have regular checkups with their doctor to ensure their health is on track.
Making your home safe and ensuring adequate nutrition for your elderly loved ones can help them stay healthy and independent for longer.
Staying healthy in old age requires a bit of extra effort. However, by taking some simple precautions and being mindful of their health, the elderly can remain healthy and independent for many years. Thanks for reading!