The Benefits of Home Modifications

Posted on

Dec 01, 2011

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Colorado - Colorado Springs

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Spending your later years at home can be less expensive and less stressful than moving to a retirement home. Modifying your home for safety and independence is relatively quick and affordable.
When installed properly, home modifications can increase your homes resale value and overall appeal. Elegant towel bars function as safety bars, walk-in showers provide built-in seating, and main level laundry rooms eliminate stair climbing. All of these modifications help prevent falling in the home - the number one cause of trauma and hospitalization for seniors.
It is difficult to plan for recovery from an injury before it happens, but when possible, modifying your home before you need it allows you to choose materials and colors at your leisure. Safety bars can be installed according to your specific needs and you can become acquainted with their use unhurried. In some situations, modifications are imperative for release from the hospital, such as ramps or doorway widening for wheelchair or walker access through the home. It is easier to remove a wall or widen a doorway to accommodate medical equipment, than to move your possessions to a new residence when you are injured.
When choosing a home modifications contractor, consider a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). The CAPS program was founded by the National Association of Home Builders and AARP. Graduates are required to attend continuing education programs and uphold a strict code of ethics to maintain their certification. CAPS contractors are trained to work with seniors and caregivers compassionately, to evaluate the home and the seniors mobility, and create a safe, independent living environment. Choosing a CAPS contractor guarantees that your home will receive professionally constructed modifications, and you will have chosen a contractor with a superior level of trust and reliability.
Before you hire a contractor, ask for a detailed scope of work with all specifics in writing. Be aware that the lowest bid is not always the best deal. A good contractor will work within your needs and your budget, use quality materials installed in a professional manner, and ensure that you are delighted with the finished product.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Alison Baity, PR/Marketing Director for Holladay Brothers Construction, Inc. If you would like more information about improving your living space, please call our office at (719) 596-7161 or see our website at www.holladaybros.com. We will be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation.

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Empowering Individuals at Home: The Impact of Wearable Technology on Home Care

Empowering Individuals, at Home; The Impact of Wearable Technology on Home CareIn todays evolving world of technology wearable devices have emerged as powerful tools that are revolutionizing the field of home care specifically for seniors. These innovative technologies enhance the quality of life for individuals while also offering numerous advantages to home care providers; enabling seniors to remain in the comfort of their own homes.Wearable Technology; A Glimpse into the FutureFrom smartwatches to health monitoring sensors wearable devices have become components of the digital healthcare revolution. For seniors who choose to age in their homes these technologies serve as a bridge towards greater independence improved health outcomes and enhanced connectivity.Monitoring Health and Ensuring Swift ResponseEquipped with features such, as heart rate monitoring, fall detection and GPS tracking wearable devices empower home care providers by providing real time insights into the well being of their clients. For instance smartwatches can continuously monitor signs. Automatically trigger emergency alerts if any irregularities or falls occur. Being able to offer responses is incredibly valuable as it enables assistance, reduces response times and may even aid in preventing more serious health issues.Managing MedicationsOne of the challenges, in taking care of individuals at home involves ensuring that they adhere to their medication schedules. Wearable devices equipped with medication reminders help seniors take their medications at the correct times. These devices can send notifications providing assistance to both seniors and their caregivers in managing medication routines. Ultimately this improves health outcomes and lowers the risk of complications.Promoting Physical ActivityEngaging in activity is crucial for maintaining health among seniors. Wearable fitness trackers can monitor activity levels motivating seniors to stay active while also offering caregivers insights, into their well being. Adopting this approach helps prevent a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and other associated health problems.Supporting Cognitive HealthWearable devices now incorporate features specifically designed to support the well being of seniors. These features include memory prompts, cognitive training exercises and applications that engage adults in activities.By addressing concerns related to health these technologies make a contribution by helping to maintain cognitive function and delay the onset of conditions, like dementia.Benefits for Providers of Home Care ServicesRemote Monitoring of PatientsWearable technology brings benefits to providers of home care services through remote monitoring of patients. By receiving real time data on the health parameters of older adults, caregivers can keep track of trends to identify unusual patterns and take action when necessary. This ability to monitor seniors well being remotely enhances the effectiveness of home care services and a preventive approach to care.Informed Decision Making with DataThe data collected from these devices provides insights into seniors daily routines and health patterns. Home care providers can utilize this information to make decisions based on data that results in tailoring their care plans to meet each individuals needs. This personalized approach improves the effectiveness of home care interventions.Improved Communication and ConnectivityWearable technology facilitates communication between seniors and their caregivers. Features such as video calls, messaging and emergency alerts create a connected environment that reduces feelings of isolation experienced by individuals. This enhanced communication supports the well being of seniors along with offering reassurance to their families and caregivers.Streamlined Operations, for Enhanced EfficiencyThe integration of technology streamlines home care operations and efficiencies. From streamlining the collection of health data, to optimizing communication channels, these technologies play a role, in improving efficiency. Home care providers can effectively allocate resources to respond promptly to emerging issues and enhance the delivery of care services.The advent of technology has revolutionized the field of home care offering advantages for seniors and their caregivers. By harnessing the power of wearables providers can enhance the quality of care promote independence and create a more connected environment for seniors who prefer aging in their homes. As technology continues to advance, integrating these devices with home care services presents an avenue for care that focuses on sustainability and personalization.By embracing technology home care providers actively contribute to advancing healthcare delivery. The future of home care is intricately intertwined with innovation, connectivity and a commitment to empowering seniors to enjoy fulfilling lives within their surroundings.Checklist for Incorporating Wearable Technology in Home CareSmartwatches and Fitness TrackersMonitors vital signs such as heart rate, sleep patterns and physical activity. They assist caregivers and healthcare professionals, in monitoring health status while detecting issues.Fall DetectionAutomated fall detection systems are designed to identify falls and promptly alert caregivers or emergency services. This immediate assistance can significantly reduce response time during accidents ensuring timely help reaches those, in need.Medication RemindersDevices that provide medication reminders have the functionality to send alerts for medication schedules and proper dosage. These reminders play a role in helping seniors adhere to their medication plans, ultimately improving their health outcomes.GPS TrackingDevices offer real time location tracking for individuals wearing them. This feature proves beneficial for locating individuals with dementia or those who have a tendency to wander enhancing their safety and providing peace of mind.Health monitoring smart clothing Integrates sensors into garments to monitor signs without being intrusive. This non intrusive approach offers a way to collect health data enabling monitoring for better insights into ones well being.Smart shoes with gait analysis capabilities Smart shoes can analyze walking patterns and detect irregularities. By identifying mobility issues and assessing the risk of falls these shoes contribute significantly to healthcare management.Hearing aids equipped with connectivityConnections with smartphones or other devices with personalized settings. This connectivity improves communication and enhances the quality of life for seniors with hearing impairments.Emergency response These wearables consist of buttons or pendants that connect users directly to emergency response services. They provide users with a means of calling for help during emergencies, ensuring assistance when it. Is needed the most.Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems CGM systems are designed to monitor glucose levels in real-time, enabling individuals to stay informed about their blood sugar levels throughout the day. It is an essential device for people with diabetes as it enables them to effectively manage their condition and receive immediate interventions.Wearable Devices for Cognitive HealthMonitors cognitive functions and provides alerts for potential problems. They assist in detecting a decline.Keep in mind that the usefulness of technology varies depending on requirements and preferences. Caregivers should collaborate closely with healthcare professionals to select the devices for their loved ones.Examples of wearable technology designed for seniors:Apple WatchSamsung Galaxy WatchFitbitGarminAmazfitHuawei WatchWithingsTicWatch by MobvoiOura RingVerily Study WatchLively WearableLife Alert HELP ButtonBose SoundControl Hearing Aids Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring SystemTo Find Home Care CLICK HERE!

The Importance of Medical Alert Systems for Seniors Who are Aging in Place

Weve all seen the commercial with the infamous line: Help, Ive fallen and I cant get up! The advertisement itself may have been a bit melodramatic, but it raises an important question: what should seniors do if they actually fall and cannot get up?This is where a medical alert system can be critical.What are Medical Alert Systems?Medical alert systems, sometimes referred to as life alert devices, are emergency monitors for seniors to use as they go about their everyday lives. Many medical alert systems are used in the seniors home. These usually consist of a base unit and sensors that are mounted on the wall of the home. These types of systems can detect a fall in the home and trigger an automatic call to emergency services.Some systems also come with a portable option for the senior to wear wherever they go. The main feature of mobile options is the help button. When an emergency such as an injury or fall occurs, seniors can press this button to send out an alert and get the help they need.Oftentimes seniors wear these portable monitors around their neck like a long necklace, on their wrist like a bracelet, on their belt loop, or in their pocket. These monitors should be small and portable so the senior can wear them at all times, and waterproof so they can wear them in the bath or shower a common location for falls.How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?Most medical alert systems allow for real-time tracking through the use of voice, data, and GPS technology. This is important because it gives emergency services the seniors exact location in case of an emergency.With a mobile device, seniors can press the help button after a fall to alert emergency personnel. An in-home system will automatically alert emergency services when it detects a fall. Many basic systems simply alert emergency services once the help button is pressed. More elaborate systems are connected to a 24-hour call center that fields the emergencies and determines the next move. They are able to either alert the seniors emergency contacts (set up ahead of time) or send for emergency services if needed.Who Should Use Medical Alert Systems?All seniors could benefit from having a medical alert system, since you never know when an incident may occur. But, these emergency alert buttons are especially important for seniors who live alone or are aging in place. If a senior who lives alone has a fall and no one is there to help, a medical alert system is not just beneficial; it can actually be lifesaving.Additionally, wearing a medical alert system is one way for seniors to maintain their independence at home while still being prepared for an emergency. And it also provides peace of mind for family members and caregivers that their loved ones can access help in case of an emergency.Why Should Seniors Use a Medical Alert System?The main reason for seniors to use a medical alert system is to allow for fast action in case of a fall or other emergency. According to the CDC, around 36 million falls are reported among seniors every year. Falls can be caused by a number of reasons, such as certain health and cognitive conditions, loss of muscle mass, and weakened eyesight, reflexes, and balance. They can also be caused by unsafe footwear or safety hazards inside and outside the home, like steps, rugs, spills, and clutter.Falls should be taken seriously when they occur. Falls are the leading cause of accidents, serious injuries, and accidental deaths in seniors. To that end, emergency departments treat 3 million seniors for injuries from falls every year. That is more than 8,000 falls every day.The risk of falling can also be a major source of anxiety for seniors, as falls can threaten their independence, mobility, and physical health.Oftentimes when a senior falls, they need help from someone else to regain their balance and get back up. But, if they live alone or no one is around, they may not be able to get themselves up at all. Being stuck on the ground for a long period of time is extremely dangerous for seniors and prolongs their risk of serious injury. Therefore, getting help quickly after a fall is key. With a medical alert system, even a senior who lives alone can have peace of mind that help is available when they need it all at the push of a button. How Much Do Medical Alert Systems Cost?As with all technology, the price of medical alert systems can vary based on equipment, activation, monitoring type, extra devices, and additional features.Some companies allow you to rent their medical alert system equipment, and some require you to buy it. Buying the items may cost anywhere from $50-$350 depending on the type of equipment.In addition, many medical alert systems charge a monthly fee to use their service. This fee pays for access to the 24-hour emergency call center.Generally, the service cost for at-home medical alert systems is around $25 per month or $239 per year. The service cost for on-the-go-devices is slightly more expensive at around $30-$45 a month. Sometimes there is an additional one-time installation or activation fee that can range from $25-$100. However, this fee is often included in the package when you purchase and initiate a medical alert system.Are Medical Alert Systems Covered by Insurance?Usually medical alert systems are not covered by insurance. But, some options might be available to help you cover the cost.For example, your HSA or FSA may offer a deduction for medical alert systems. Medicare Advantage may also cover some of the cost of medical alert systems. You may be able to get coverage through Veterans benefits as well. However, make sure you check with your insurance provider or your states Medicare/Medicaid program, as benefits can vary by policy or state.If you need assistance funding a medical alert system, be sure to contact your local sheriffs office or Area Agency on Aging, which sometimes have grants or resources available. Best Affordable Medical Alert Systems for SeniorsThere are hundreds of companies that sell medical alert systems. Some of the top-rated, affordable options are as follows:MobileHelp - The National Council on Aging (NCOA) voted this company as Best All-Around System. Their monthly fees start at $19.95 and fall buttons are available for an additional $10 per month. They also offer a free trial period.Bay Alarm Medical - The NCOA voted this company as Best for the Price. Their fees start at $25 per month and fall buttons are available for an additional $10 per month. They also offer a free trial period.Lively - Voted Best Health Services by the NCOA, this companys fees start at $25 per month, with fall detection buttons for an additional $25 per month.Other options include Get Safe as a basic option, Medical Guardian MGMove as a wearable option, and Fast Help as an easy, quick option available on Amazon. Some other notable providers of medical alert systems are ADT Medical Alert and Life Alert.How to Help Your Senior Loved OnesMedical alert systems are one impactful way to gain confidence about your senior loved ones safety as they age. For some seniors, this is all the reassurance they need about their safety and independence. But, other seniors may need a little more support.Having a fall can reveal or trigger the need for additional support. Whether you are looking for support in a senior living community or are seeking home health care services, Florida Senior Consulting can help. Our expert senior advisors will find your loved one the care they need to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay safe and lower their risk of falls and injuries. With this peace of mind ultimately comes a better quality of life for seniors and their families.When the decisions become too overwhelming, our experts are here for you. And, we offer these services at no cost to seniors or their families.Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.For peace of mind, call us at (800) 969-7176 or visit us at FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.

Aging in Place with Home Modifications

Many older adults have spent decades raising families in their homes where theyve created so many cherished memories. While it may not be possible for a loved one to live independently forever, making a few home modifications can keep the home safe and comfortable.Home modifications for older adults reduce fall risk and help loved ones stay in their homes for as long as possible. Falls are one of the top reasons why many lose their independence and mobility. Many home modifications are easy and can likely be done without needing to call in a professional, while others require careful planning to install.Basic Home Modifications: Remove anything thats a trip hazard Install an elevated toilet seat Add extra lighting Add traction slips to the bathroom floorAdvanced Modifications: Install grab bars Install a bathroom heat lamp Add a stairlift Install a walk-in tub Install a rampAssistive Technology: Medical Alert Systems Smart Home Devices including cameras Assistive seating including lift chairsWhile some home modifications can be expensive, they can help save money overall in comparison to the cost of health expenses associated with a fall or nursing home. Proper home modifications provide peace of mind knowing that loved ones are safe in their own home.