Utah’s senior population has doubled over the past few years. Today, 1 in 10 Utahns are over the age of 65 and could reach 1 in 5 in just 30 years. Most Utah seniors choose to live with family, but there are ways to live on your own if you prefer your independence.
Secure Your Bathroom
Bathrooms are the most dangerous place in the house for seniors. Bathroom accidents account for 80 percent of reported falls and slips, but you can make sure you won’t be part of that statistic. Instead of showering, opt for a free-standing or walk-in bathtub.
Showers and soapy water on your feet make a particularly dangerous combination, and standard bathtubs can be a pain to get in and out of — not to mention risky. A walk-in tub allows you to take a bath in a sitting position. It takes minimal effort to get in and out of one, and there is little risk of accidents since your feet are firmly planted on the ground.
Seniors often need to use the bathroom, so it would be a good idea to install grab bars and other safety accessories to make toilet use safer. Sitting down and getting up can be quite stressful to the knees, and changing position and elevation can make you lose your balance. Grab bars can make your bathroom trips safer and a lot easier on your knees.
Lighten the Load on your Knees
Your knees still have a few more miles left in them, but you can make them last longer by using a simple cane or any other mobility aid. Exercise and getting out of the house is vital to maintaining your health as well as the sharpness of your mind.
Mobility aids allow you to do various chores on your own. You can take a short trip to the grocer or just a stroll around the neighborhood. If your knees have gone completely bad, you can still use mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs. Save those knees for important occasions but still manage to get around outside the house.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
As you age, accidents are somewhat unavoidable. This can be especially dangerous if you are living on your own. One fall or incident can lead to severe repercussions if you don’t get immediate care. You won’t be able to make a call if you are knocked unconscious by a fall.
Medical alert systems are exactly designed for these situations. You can call for assistance with just a press of a button, and built-in fall detection will alert emergency services immediately after an accident. Medical alert systems are usually incorporated in a pendant or attached to your wrist similar to a watch for ease of use. They can also be used in other emergencies such as fires and burglaries.
Being with family is good, but you should always grasp tightly on your independence for as long as you can. Specific changes in your house can make this possible, granting you a few more years of living on your own.