Are you aware of the leading threat to senior safety? If you guessed anything other than falls, you may be in for a surprise. Fall-related injuries are always at the top of the list for common hazards to senior health and well-being. So how can you prevent falls from affecting you? You can start by making some simple changes to your home, and making one small tweak to your health. Here’s what you should know about reducing your falls risk.
Medicare May Pay for Accessibility Equipment
The majority of seniors in America rely on Medicare for their health needs. With this in mind, you should dig into your own Medicare plan to see if any accessibility equipment is covered. Grab bars are not currently covered, for instance, but Durable Medical Equipment (DME) may be covered if you meet the necessary criteria. If you are not in need of grab bars yet, you may be in luck if Medicare Part C coverage extends to grab bars within the next year.
Medicaid Waivers Can Help With Modifications Too
It’s important to research all of your options to get the accessibility renovations and equipment you need. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to use waivers to offset the expense of qualified changes, such as installing a walk-in tub or widening doorways for wheelchair access. But Medicaid will not help with changes that add value to your property, so really do your homework to see which projects may be covered. If you do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare assistance, there may be other methods to reduce costs.
Habitat Can Help Seniors Save on Materials
If cost is a concern for your accessibility upgrades, you can look for help from Medicare and Medicaid. But a more convenient way for many seniors to save may be shopping at your local Re-Store. Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores are retail shops that offer discounted and donated home improvement materials to the public. By shopping at Re-Store, you will be directly supporting Habitat housing efforts in your community. So if you are looking for renovation savings, Re-Store should be your first stop.
De-cluttering Floors Can Prevent Many Elderly Falls
Before you start major renovations, take some time to remove common fall hazards from your home. That means keeping floors tidy and removing rugs and covering electrical cords that could cause you to trip. Speaking of floors, if yours are made of a slick material like concrete or tile, you may want to think about upgrading to flooring with more grip. Carpet is a go-to choice for aging in place due to its softness and traction, but you can also opt for other senior-friendly flooring options.
Preventing Bathroom Falls is Essential for Seniors
Every year, millions of seniors trip over rugs and other items on their floors. But millions of seniors also slip in their bathrooms and kitchens due to slick tile floors. Your bathroom can be a particularly hazardous room in your home, since surfaces tend to be wet. Seniors who plan to age in place should zero in on modification efforts in this room specifically. Some simple bathroom safety changes you can make include installing the aforementioned grab bars around your toilet and in your shower.
Working Out Can Keep Seniors From Falling Too
If you really want to be proactive about fall prevention, as well as your overall health, the right workouts can help too. If you are concerned about falls or have fallen recently, start with simple balance activities. Lightweight leg raises can be efficient for helping seniors recover balance, but it’s also crucial for older adults to use strength training to limit fall risks. Building healthy bones and muscles with weights can give seniors more balance, but it can also prevent serious injuries if they do fall.
Aging in place is all about comfort and safety. So make sure you are safe from dangerous falls in your home, but be vigil about your health as well. With a few easy changes, you can limit the influence that falls have on your life.
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