Tips to help you ‘age in place’ – Global News Calgary

Jodi Hughes (00:00):

Well, many seniors are choosing to age in place or to spend more years in their homes, and there are ways to ensure that decision is successful. MP Fortin is with Ohana Care Health Services and she joins us now. Good morning, MP. Thank you so much for being with us.

MP Fortin (00:16):

Good morning.

Jodi Hughes (00:17):

So let’s talk about this. I know a lot of folks would prefer to stay at home. What should people be considering if they do want to stay in their homes as they get older?

MP Fortin (00:28):

So seniors that want to stay at home should consider their surroundings, so their homes, some home security added, and also planning ahead is a key component of aging in place.

Jodi Hughes (00:39):

Okay, well, let’s start with that first one then. Tell us about how your surroundings come into play.

MP Fortin (00:45):

So the number one cause of injuries for seniors who are living at home is falls so it’s very important to identify all the tripping hazards. It could be little mats that are placed around the house, uneven steps. Also, considering the accessibility, because as you age, sometimes you will need a cane, you will need a walker and you will need the space to accommodate those mobility aids throughout the house. And also, considering moving items such as the deep freezer or the washer-dryer, having it on the main level so that seniors don’t have to go up and on the stairs. And also, bringing down a few items that they use on a day-to-day so they don’t have to use step stools or climb on chairs or anything like that. It’s a huge safety hazard.

Jodi Hughes (01:31):

And are there ways to make everybody feel a little bit more secure? I mean, it’s important to maintain your privacy, but what else can we do to also ensure that as a senior or as a family member that you know, that your loved one is safe when they are at home?

MP Fortin (01:47):

There are so many types of security systems now that are either catered towards seniors or even just the general population where you can have families access cameras of places such as the living room or the entryway. Also, having a lock pad with a numpad so that if family is concerned, they can have access to the home and come and do a safety check right away. And also, there are a lot of devices you can wear on you, either on your wrist, around your neck, where it can detect a fall. So if you fall, someone is already on the phone with you trying to get you to the healthcare professionals, just to help you right away.

Jodi Hughes (02:29):

And these are obviously never easy conversations to have, but it is really important that we start talking about these things early in order to prepare. As you’re having those conversations, what sorts of things should we have on our checklist to make sure that we’re covering off?

MP Fortin (02:44):

Well, first of all, you want to discuss the current reality of your health. If you have a diagnosis, if you had recent falls, injuries, just being realistic with your goals of aging in place and what supports can be offered for you to stick around. And also, create short term and long term plans. Sometimes one fall doesn’t mean that you’re going to be falling all the time and sometimes people jump the gun in those decisions in moving into facilities. So it’s very important to share your goals with your family so that you can create those plans and have outside agencies coming in to help you with your day-to-day. There are so many healthcare providers that can come into your home just to make sure that you have all the access to all the care that you need. And it’s just really, really important that you discuss this with your parents, and as a senior, that you discuss it with your family as well so that everyone stands on the same page and can have a discussion before anything drastic happens.

Jodi Hughes (03:45):

Well, I have to think it would also give you some peace of mind too, to know that somebody is coming in, if you can’t always be there yourself, just to make sure that your loved ones are being looked after and that those little nuances are being taken care of.

MP Fortin (03:59):

Absolutely, absolutely, and with having an agency that is a professional agency, you can also have reports on how those visits have been, and you can also have an input into the care plan. So companies like Ohana Care can definitely help you out in aging in place.

Jodi Hughes (04:12):

MP, thank you so much for your time today and for the tips. For more information, folks can head to ohanacare.ca.

 

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