Jul 28

Still Home: Ways to Prevent Injury

by Samantha Cheney

It is difficult to be a caregiver for a loved one or even for yourself.

It has been a challenge to come up with the best way to remain independent in the home, and to lessen the possibility of falls and other injuries. Home Instead, a senior care network, has developed a checklist for caregivers and seniors to evaluate their homes on potential risks.

The Home Instead network did research and found that for people 60 years and older, 33 percent of trips to the hospital are from falls.

But when they surveyed more than 600 seniors, 85 percent of them said that they do not have their home prepared for any kinds of hazards.

“We see people time and time again who want to stay at home, but don’t know the ways that they can do that,” said Denise Krueger, the owner of Home Instead Missoula.

The checklist covers several rooms and what to look for in the way of problems – and how they can be fixed.

“One thing that we would recommend most of all is for people to get rid of their throw rugs,” said Krueger.

They have found that the throw rugs can be a huge tripping hazard. They found that reducing clutter, providing more mobility options within the home and finding more accessible areas for everyday items can reduce many of the problems that people can face.

The senior can look over the potential risks themselves or they can have a loved one, caregiver or professional help them find potential problems within the home.

Home Instead is an international organization focusing on helping seniors who want to continue to live in their homes as they age. The website it a great place to find resources, but much of the time they 
have local branches as well.

In Missoula, they are able to provide a caregiver network for varying degrees of needs.

Some people just need companionship, while others may need help getting dressed and bathing and some need their food delivered to them.” “We are able to provide a wide ride of options for people who need it.”

They also created a list called “5 Fixes under $500” to help people that want an inexpensive way to stay at home and install things that could ultimately save lives.

“We want people to feel like they can be safe and comfortable in their own homes.”

Krueger says that it is never too early or too late to get the home prepared for what is going to happen.

“It is better to be prepared before someone breaks a hip. It is better to be proactive than reactive.”

To learn more about the Senior Care Checklist or Home Instead, visit their website at www.homeinstead.com or call at 406-523-9909.

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