As you get older, your faculties might not be what they once were. You may also start to develop various physical problems. This is natural since the older you get, the more your body breaks down.
You should treat older adults respectfully because you would hope that your family will do the same for you when you get to be that age. There are certain things you can do for your older family members that should help to keep them safe, as well as allow them to live dignified lives. These older adults can also take action for safer living themselves, provided they are physically and mentally capable.
Let’s talk about a few of the things that older adults can do for their safety and what their family members can do as well.
Older Adults Can Research the Medications They Take
Most older adults are computer-literate to some degree. Some 90-year-old great-grandmothers use social media and have no problem sending off an email or ordering items off of Amazon.
As a senior, you can research whatever medications your doctors tell you to take. You can certainly talk to your doctors about these meds as well, but it does no harm to do some additional checking up, especially if you hear that a particular medication has some unwanted side effects.
For instance, consider Elmiron, a blood thinner. Many older adults have used it over the years. There are potentially serious side effects, though.
6.3% of Elmiron users report rectal hemorrhage. That is not an insignificant amount, so if your doctor tells you to use it, ask them about the risks. Your doctor should volunteer any side effect possibilities without probing from you, but you can still do some independent research.
You Can Research Any Nursing Home into Which You’re Putting Your Senior Relative
If you have an older adult in your family, you might decide with their input that a nursing home or assisted living facility is the best place for them. Perhaps they have a medical condition that you’re not well-suited to help them with, especially if you have had no formal medical training.
You can do some research before you and your older relative select an appropriate facility. You can look online and see what kind of feedback each option has. You should avoid any ones that have negative feedback or have pending lawsuits.
You can also go with the older adult to tour the facility first. You can talk to the other residents and staff members. Look for any signs of elder abuse and neglect.
Move Your Older Relative into an Apartment or House with No Stairs
Some older adults want to remain independent more than anything. They won’t move in with you, nor will they move into an assisted living facility or nursing home.
You can help them out by getting them into a house or apartment that has no stairs. Many apartments don’t have them, and some ranch-style homes do not either. They are common in some parts of the country.
You want to keep your older relative away from stairs because falls become more likely as people get older. Your senior family members might not have the balance that they once did. If they can’t get along without a walker or cane, or if they are in a wheelchair, then it’s no longer appropriate for them to live in a residence with stairs, particularly steep ones.
Older Adults Can Surrender Their Driver’s Licenses
Most older adults have put in decades behind the wheel. If you’re in your 70s or older, you might still feel like you are an excellent driver, and you don’t want to ever sell your car or give up your license.
You have to admit, though, that the time might come to stop driving if you can’t see or hear as well as you once could. You don’t have to feel any shame about that. Most older adults can’t hear or see quite as well as they did when they were young, and your reflexes might have slowed down as well.
If you start getting in accidents or you’re struggling to get to the grocery store and other places you once could reach with no problems, you have to set your pride aside. You can start taking public transportation to get to where you need to go. You can also ask any younger relatives in your area to drive you around.