Over the past few months, more and more American seniors have been choosing to drop out of their Medicare plan. Even more alarming is the fact that many of these individuals are facing injury, illness, and other conditions. A 2017 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed 126 Medicare Advantage plans commonly used by senior citizens and found that 35 of them had high numbers of sick enrolees dropping out because of difficulty accessing preferred providers and medical services.
With quality health care becoming harder to access for those who aren’t resident in reputable care homes, many seniors are starting to take their well-being into their own hands by staying active and eating healthy. Fewer people, however, take into consideration the dangers that may be lurking in their own home. A whopping 85% of senior citizens have done nothing to prepare their home for aging, which can increase the risk of falls and other injuries that can end in a hefty medical bill. There are some minor changes that you can make to your house to ensure that you and your loved ones stay out of the emergency room as you age.
Alarms are a must-have in any home, no matter what age you are. That doesn’t just mean smoke detectors for fires- you should also have a burglar alarm, a carbon monoxide detector, and a medical alert system in the event of an emergency. Make sure that you buy alarms that will grab your attention, whether you’re asleep or awake. Seniors with hearing difficulties can find lighted or vibrating alarm systems instead of traditional sirens.
Provide Ample Lighting
As you age, a dark corridor or stairwell can prove to be a death trap. Without enough light to see where you’re going, it’s easy to trip and fall, which can lead to serious injuries. Make sure that all areas of your house are lit, and that switches are easy to reach. If you have trouble getting to any light switches, you may want to invest in automatic or motion-sensor lighting.
Redecorate the Bathroom
Few rooms in your house are as dangerous as the bathroom, with its hard tiled floors and slippery surfaces. You can improve the safety of your bath or shower simply by purchasing a rubber no-slip mat from your local home goods store, or you can hire a contractor to install grab bars and a shower seat in the room. You may also want to keep a cordless phone in the bathroom in case of emergencies.