Senior Safety: Planning Ahead Before a Health Scare
As your loved ones age it is a natural tendency to want to keep your senior comfortable and cared for in their beloved home. Family members may initially think that home is the safest place a senior can be. However as things change, whether it be outside factors or your loved one’s health, you may realize that the home lacks the resources to prevent a serious health scare and keep your loved one as safe as possible.
Through proper preparation, your family can gain control of your loved one’s situation and provide them with the best care possible through services such as assisted living.
We’ll help you plan ahead before a health scare, and know what to do when change is needed by communicating, planning, and making changes to optimize senior safety.
Communicate Early About Senior Safety and Options
Discuss the options and plans with your family and your loved one early on, before waiting for a health scare where they may not be able to let you know their wants and needs. This could include discussions around topics such as the following:
- Financial plans related to health insurance, affording daily expenses, and affording long-term care
- Legal matters, such as establishing a will, a living will, and who will serve as Power of Attorney
- Care expectations including researching senior living communities and finding the best care resources available
- Family member involvement to know who will be responsible for what
These discussions need to go beyond your loved one’s current state of health, to prepare for potential emergencies or changes that could arise. Although these conversations can be difficult, they are easier to have before a potential health scare happens. Making plans and decisions while a senior is in better health, and everyone involved is level-headed, will make adapting to changes easier.
Outside Factors That Affect Your Loved One’s Care
When determining a plan for senior safety, you also need to consider outside factors that could affect them.
What if something happens to you and you can no longer provide assistance for your loved one or take steps to implement the plan that you discussed together?
Dropping temperatures this winter and more time spent indoors will allow for a higher rate of illness and an increased spread of viruses. Concerns over the coronavirus pandemic present a risk, as contracting it means you would need to self-quarantine away from your loved one and may face your own health scare.
Assisted living communities offer better protection for your loved one from outside viruses and illness. At home, taking on an illness can be a much greater challenge if needs quickly change. Adapting and accommodating to the needs of your loved one may show you actually lack the resources that an assisted living community can provide.
If you travel any distance to get to your senior loved one, something as simple as unexpected inclement winter weather can cause dangerous delays and present other hazards such as fall risks. Who will run errands for your loved one, how will they get to doctor’s appointments, who will shovel their snow if you can’t get there to help?
You not only need a plan in place to manage these challenges, but also need other family members and resources who can step in when necessary.
Adapt to Changes Quickly for Senior Safety
By researching the risks and resources available to mitigate them, you can more quickly adapt your loved one’s care plan as the unexpected happens to prevent a health scare.
This can be increasingly important in winter months as more time spent indoors can cause issues, such as propagating virus spread. This is of more concern now with the added risk of coronavirus.
Planning ahead to prevent accidents, injuries, or illnesses can help a senior avoid a hospital visit or stay, which is especially important for maintaining their strength when their age puts them at higher risk of contracting coronavirus.
The more prepared you are to deal with unexpected changes, the more strength you offer your senior loved one.
If you realize that the home environment doesn’t lend itself well to your overall senior safety plans, it may be time to consider a move to an assisted living community.
Assisted living provides many more protections and precautions to give residents safer and higher levels of care, even if unexpected changes arise. Offering all levels of care, an assisted living community can fluidly accommodate a senior’s health changes much more thoroughly than what would be possible at home.
The Kensington Can Assist in Preventing a Health Scare
The Kensington is your partner in caring for your senior loved one. We can help you evaluate their need for assisted living care early on, which not only prevents emergencies, but also helps to optimize seniors’ health for as long as possible.
With a proactive approach, The Kensington White Plains is committed to continuity of care. We offer assistance that includes a full spectrum of clinical support, including end-of-life care. We go beyond what many traditional assisted living communities offer. This enables our residents to “age in place.”
At The Kensington White Plains, we’re here to help if you’re having difficulty determining the best care options for your senior loved one who can no longer stay at home.