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Keeping Seniors In Their Homes As Long As Possible, As Affordably As Possible

For many seniors, the possibility of having to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home is very real and frightening. Many times the move is necessitated not out of a need for medical care, but because mobility issues and concerns for safety become too much for other family members to bear. However, keeping seniors in their homes for as long as possible is not only good for senior morale, it can save them a great deal of money, too. Here are a few ways that you can keep your elderly relatives in their homes for longer without spending a fortune.

Minor home safety modifications

Accidents in the home can lead to serious injuries. Falls are one of the most common accidents that affect seniors, and many are preventable. Simple home modifications can reduce the likelihood of a fall and reduce the risk of injuries that could require long-term hospitalization.

  • Remove or secure loose carpeting, rugs, or cords around the home.
  • Move furniture to provide a clear walking space.
  • Install handrails or grab bars throughout the home.
  • Make sure there is adequate lighting throughout the home so seniors can see where they are stepping.
  • Place non-slip strips on slippery floors and stairs to improve traction.

Many of these simple modifications cost very little money, yet they could keep seniors safely in their homes for longer by making a trip or fall less likely.

Major home improvement for safety

Some homes need more extensive changes made in order for seniors to safely stay at home. Wheelchair users may need wider doors or ramps installed, for example. If your elderly relative can't navigate stairs or needs to have doorways widened to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility devices, the cost could seem prohibitive. However, there are options available to help offset the cost.

Home improvement grants for the purpose of improving mobility can help seniors afford to make the changes needed to keep them at home safely. Federal grants, nonprofit organization grants, and programs that help Veterans make home modifications could all help seniors make the needed changes to their homes in order to stay safe.

Address mobility issues 

One cause of accidents at home is mobility or problems with it. If your elderly relative struggles with mobility issues, simply navigating their home on their own can be dangerous. Also, a loss of mobility means a loss of independence, which can quickly lead to depression among seniors. If they feel they might fall trying to move around within the home, seniors may not attempt to move as much, which can lead to muscle weakness and loss of energy. Remaining mobile is, in short, very important for both senior physical and mental well-being.

Mobility aids such as lift chairs and mobility scooters can keep seniors moving safely for longer. However, the cost of such aids can seem prohibitive, especially for those seniors on a limited budget. Fortunately, there are ways to pay for these items without breaking the budget.

Medicare Part B may pay for part or all of the cost of items such as lift chairs or mobile scooters if a doctor deems them medically necessary. If your senior has private health insurance, it may allow benefits for these devices as well under its coverage for durable medical equipment (DME).

Since Medicare may not cover the full cost of the mobility aids, some seniors may be eligible for  assistance with organizations that offer help to disabled people who need help paying for medical equipment or other costs.

Seniors are generally happier and healthier when they can stay in their own homes, but if your elderly relative needs help doing so, there are options available. Speak to your senior's healthcare provider for more information on how to help your loved ones remain in their homes safely for longer. For more information, consider sites like