It’s a fortunate thing to be able to watch loved ones age into their senior years, but that privilege can also bring concerns about their ability to live alone safely and maintain a level of independence they may understandably desire.
Susan DeMarois, director of the California Department of Aging, said that most older adults want to age in place. She said the benefits include a continued sense of independence, living in a familiar space in which a person is comfortable and maintaining community connections.
Everyone deserves to live with dignity and access the highest quality of life that they are capable of and wish to have, said Richard J. Mollot, executive director for New York’s non-profit Long Term Care Community Coalition.
“This doesn’t change with age,” he said via email. “However, the parameters within which these rights can be safely exercised might change, depending on the individual’s needs and wishes.”
According to both DeMarois and Mollot, such parameters might include home modifications that can make a space safer and accommodating for concerns like limited mobility.
“There may also be a need for help with transportation, meals, cleaning or home maintenance and personal care,” DeMarois said, adding that utilizing local senior services can be one of the most holistic ways of accessing resourses, education and support.
Some of these include government food and nutrition programs, fall-prevention programs that can provide and install low-cost modifications to the home and community adult services that can integrate health and social needs.
“The best advice I can offer to loved ones who want to support an older adult who is living alone is to keep the lines of communication open,” DeMarois said. “Have regular conversations about how the situation is working, if changes need to be made, and what else the older adult needs to feel comfortable and secure at home.”
While these senior care experts did not endorse any specific products, we utilized the resources they provided to build a list of items that might be helpful for any older person to have at home. Keep reading to find ADA-compliant grab rails, highly rated caretaker alert systems and tablets meant to keep your loved one connected.
A tablet specifically designed for seniors
This other tablet option is designed specifically with older populations in mind. The GrandPad features a user-friendly operation screen, ongoing instructions, easy-to-see icons and 24/7 customer support. Share photos, take calls, send emails, video chat and more without causing frustration.
A floor-to-ceiling support pole
Another option for adding support throughout the home is this tension-mounted pole. It earned a spot on this list for its double-handled grab bar that swivels 360 degrees and its floor-to-ceiling design that helps to provide support whether someone is sitting or standing. Because this sturdy bar uses tension to stay in place, no drilling or permanent installation is required.
A fall-detection pendant system
Our pick: This alert system comes backed with ADT’s 24/7 monitoring service that can get a loved one immediately connected to critical care to ensure a rapid response in the event of an emergency — all with a press of a button. The portable mobile device allows for two-way communication with ADT’s sensitivity-trained agents as well as GPS location tracking while the wearable and waterproof pendant has automatic fall detection capabilities for added peace of mind. This system does require a monthly service fee, starting at $39.99.