This time of year most homeowners have a long list or a least a mental list of all the things that need doing before the snow flies, or the pipes freeze. And for seniors who want to remain living independently at home for as long a possible, the Autumn with all it’s yard work and household chores can be overwhelming.
Older adults may benefit from having a home to care for; gardening and maintenance can keep seniors physically and mentally active. But there are some chores that are best left for younger family members or hired out. If budgets are tight, nearly every state or province has a government department of aging services that can partner seniors in need with community services that will provide home repair, chore or homemaker services to help older adults maintain their independence.
Fall prevention is an important piece of the puzzle for ensuring older adults are able to stay in their own home as they age. According to the World Health Organization, fall-related injuries are a major cause of pain, disability, loss of independence and premature death among people over the age of 65. About a third of the elderly population living at home fall each year and an estimated 1 in 40 are hospitalized. What’s worse is that only about half of those admitted to hospital will be alive one year later.
Staying active is important to help prevent falls and regular exercise including weight and balance training can help seniors prevent falls. But there are also risks not worth taking so before climbing on a tall ladder or the roof to clean out the gutters this fall, consider that it might be time to enlist the help of others. Not sure where to start? Try calling local government offices, local senior centers or community service programs like Meals on Wheels or the United Way for referrals.
To find a United Way Community Action initiative near you, visit www.unitedway.org .