Home Organization is Key
As we age our homes build up decades of family history, and become our personal kingdoms. Nearly 90 percent of older Americans say they’d rather stay in their homes than move into assisted living quarters. With an organizational plan and a little effort, staying in their homes can offer the best of nursing home alternatives for many Boston and Concord area seniors.
The 3 major risk factors for independent living are falls, food, and medication errors. You may not think that organizing the home could really help lower these risks. But as caregiving needs grow, so does the need to clean out home clutter and re-organize to face age-related challenges that lie ahead.
Nursing Home Alternatives That Save Lots of Money
“Aging in Place” is the term used to describe senior citizens being able to live in their own home or apartment, even when some level of personal or medical assistance is needed for daily or weekly living. A 4 year Aging in Place (AIP) analysis found total costs for living at home with senior services and health care were thousands lower than costs incurred by moving into nursing homes.
As Boston area residents face conditions and diseases associated with aging, home clutter can add to fall risk, confusion, and mask hidden dust and mold that aggravate certain medical conditions.
Reduce Clutter to Avoid the Biggest 3 Risk Factors
Each year, one in three individuals over 65 injures himself in a fall. To lessen the chance of a fall, you can get rid of small area rugs on wood or tile floors, make sure all doorways and stairs are unobstructed, and move frequently used kitchen and serving items off of high shelves.
Even poor nutrition can be addressed by better home organization. Cleaning out the refrigerator and organizing the pantry can include using labeled bins to make finding healthy snacks and cereals easier, and placing a large fruit bowl on the kitchen counter to encourage fresh fruit consumption. Of course, home senior care services that include meal preparation should be in your long-term plans when seeking nursing home alternatives.
Finally, immensely reduce medication errors by organizing medication into daily and weekly doses and placing them strategically in the home. Find out what works best for you, your spouse or your aging parent. Once the home is organized, regular visits by a home helper which include straightening up, making beds, and light pet care will help keep the clutter and disorganization from creeping back in.