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Staying safer for longer at home

While living at home for longer is recommended and encouraged, it can mean you may experience increasing periods of frailty, leading to additional care and support needed while living independently.

Even though people start developing a need for increased care as they age, older Australians are reluctant to seek it because they don’t wish to give up their independence. [Source: Shutterstock]
Even though people start developing a need for increased care as they age, older Australians are reluctant to seek it because they don’t wish to give up their independence. [Source: Shutterstock]

People are staying healthier for longer in Australia so the country’s life expectancy has risen to 80.4 years for men and 84.6 years for women, resulting in older people living at home for longer.

Even though people start developing a need for increased care as they age, older Australians are reluctant to seek it because they don’t wish to give up their independence with two in three Australians aged over 65 years using aged care services.

Families are currently facing difficulties surrounding how to support their older loved one while ensuring they are secure and safe at home, without sacrificing access to care assistance.

Security solutions organisation, ADT Security released some helpful tips to make sure your loved ones remain safe at home but are still able to exercise their independence.

ADT Security expert, Darryn Bull, says, “Australia's older generations are increasingly living healthy and independent lives, choosing to live in their own homes rather than in assisted care facilities. 

“While this can be liberating for seniors, family members may worry about their safety and having support if there is an accident or incident in the home."  

Having better visibility at home is incredibly important for older people to keep themselves safe in their homes. 

Making sure your older loved one has a risk-free home can guarantee safe living at home, especially when poor eyesight and minor safety hazards can be a deadly combination, and put seniors at risk of falls or other accidents.

Dim lighting is a common reason for falls, so smart lighting at home can be a great option since the individual can activate a light digitally or via a remote. This can stop a senior from stumbling when looking for a light switch.

Depending on the severity of an illness, a family could potentially install a life security system feed, with approval from the older loved one.

Family members would be able to check in on a mobile phone or laptop and view a live feed of their relative’s home to alert to falls and give peace of mind to the family member that their loved one is safe while living independently at home.

Another tip from Mr Bull involves encouraging your older loved one to make social connections within their community.

Maintaining a strong social network results in better physical and mental health, and volunteering is a great way to develop these skills while contributing to the local community.

Seniors who keep active with their hobbies and social groups maintain positive social interaction and physical fitness, which contributes to their overall wellbeing and reduces the likelihood of falling over or becoming ill.

The last tip from ADT Security is potentially having a monitoring device on which can give 24/7 assistance to older Australians.

Some personal alarms keep track of physical symptoms, mental health and nutrition, which is very important to maintain in old age.

If an older loved one is also showing signs of physical or cognitive impairment, a personal alarm can be an appropriate way to keep track of where the family member is and alert to any incidents.

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