(Snippets from the frontline)
Home, your comfort zone
The majority of elders seniors pass away in a hospital or nursing home. My patients want to die at home.
Home is your comfort zone: A familiar place with memories of holidays, celebrations, and joy. As failing physical and mental health sets in, seniors are suddenly removed from their castle to an unfamiliar environment.
In the future, technology will aid us with robots and autonomous computer cars to sustain our independence.
What about now? Making homes senior friendly is multifactorial including emotional and medical components, but here are structural considerations:
Single story homes with no steps inside or out (if already present, adaptable for ramps);
Wheelchair accessible with oversize doorways, floor lighting strips, roll-in closets and showers, or walk-in tubs;
Emphasis on fall prevention with gym-foam flooring (to absorb impact), bathroom grab bars and safety handles, pull cord emergency alarms, strategic furniture and rug placement without exposed phone or extension cords;
WiFi allowing off-ground camera surveillance, motion detectors vigilant for prolonged inactivity, voice activated lights and appliances, and the proverbial “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” alert button.
It takes a village.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.