An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.
Help for the Elderly Living at HomeArticle by Daniel Westhead
Living at home alone in your later years can be a worrying prospect for you and your loved ones as it can increase your vulnerability to injuries, health complications and general loneliness. According to a survey undertaken by Brookdale Senior Living and OnePoll, 61% of older adults said they would prefer to stay in their current home, even if that means living alone.
If you’re looking to adapt yours or someone else’s home to make it safer and more comfortable for an elderly person, read our guide on how to stay healthy, happy and safe in older age in your own home.
Easy tips to stay healthy
Leading a healthier lifestyle is vital for good overall health. It may sound obvious but if you follow a balanced diet, keep hydrated, stay active and generally take care of yourself, not only will you be less likely to develop potential health conditions, but you’ll probably notice an improvement in your mental health too.
Small adjustments you can make in the home
There are several things you can do to make the home a safer place to be for elderly people, which cost little and involve minor effort.
Most importantly, you should try and remove any trip hazards. Falls are the most common cause of injury-related death in those aged over 75. Have a look around the house for any loose carpets, floorboards or rugs, as well as any other hazards such as wires which could cause an older person to trip. Read more on how to prevent falls in and out of the home for the elderly. If you are concerned about falls, it may be a good idea to look at purchasing a fall detection alarm which provides peace of mind that if you or your loved one does experience a fall and can’t press the panic button, an alert will be sent without them needing to do anything.
Secondly, you can install proper lighting to help with weakened eyesight and thus prevent trips and falls. Have a look at some specialist elderly lighting, bulbs or lamps to ensure you or your loved one can see clearly throughout their home. Another simple adjustment or check you can make is to check the fire alarm batteries to ensure it’s working, or purchase a specialist alarm if your loved one is hard of hearing or has reduced sight.
Advice for the elderly in hot weather
Keeping safe in the hot weather is vital for anyone, especially for people who have health conditions or who are more vulnerable such as the elderly. Being hot for too long can put the body under a lot of stress and can cause several illnesses, such as heat exhaustion. To help keep safe in the hot weather and lower your risk of heat-related illnesses, here are some things you can do:
- Get out of the sun and into a cool place
- Shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water
- Lie down and rest in a cool place
- Drink plenty of liquids, such as water or fruit/vegetable juices. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
- Keep your home as cool as possible by limiting your use of the oven, keeping your shades, blinds or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day and opening your windows at night
- Dress for the weather: natural fabrics such as cotton tend to be cooler than synthetic materials
- Don’t try to exercise or do a lot of outdoor activity when it’s hot
- Avoid crowded areas when it’s hot outside
The SureSafe Guardian Plus is an at-home personal alarm which can send Home Temperature Alerts, along with a whole host of other helpful features to provide increased safety and confidence for the user, and peace of mind for loved ones. If your home becomes too hot or too cold it will alert loved ones, who can come and see how they can make the house a more comfortable living temperature.
If you do start to experience symptoms of a heat-related illness such as a headache, confusion, dizziness or nausea, go to the doctor or A&E to find out if you need treatment.
Elderly mental health
Currently, one in three older people in the UK live alone. As people age, they become more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation. Following the pandemic, the rates of people suffering from loneliness are higher than ever which is leading to an increase in mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and sleep problems.
Take a look at our ways to combat loneliness when living at home alone for some helpful information and resources if you or someone you know is suffering from loneliness.
Feeling lonely can have a big impact on your mental health and general wellbeing, which can in turn make it even harder to make positive strides toward feeling better. If you are struggling with your mental health, consider how some of the following can improve your wellbeing:
- Spend time outdoors: head to a nearby park or pond to spend some time surrounded by green space.
- Try to get the right amount of sleep: too little or too much sleep can have a big impact on the way we feel.
- Physical activity: exercise releases endorphins and can be great for mental wellbeing.
- Spend time with animals: spending time around animals can help with feelings of loneliness, whether you own a pet or spend time around animals in their natural environment, such as at a family farm.
- Keep an eye on your diet: food can hugely impact your mood and energy levels. Make sure you’re eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable.
- Meditation: this is a mind and body self-care activity for seniors that promotes calmness and relaxation and has many psychological benefits. Take a look our blog on The Benefits of Meditation.
Dangers of elderly living alone
Many older people end up living alone, some through choice, some through the loss of a loved one or several other factors. Living alone can pose many risks to elderly people, from an increased risk of falls to forgetting to take medication at a certain time. However, there are lots of things that can be done to help mitigate these risks and improve the quality of life for your loved one.
A personal alarm for the elderly can offer the peace of mind that, in the event of a fall or emergency, help will get there as soon as possible at the press of a button. There are lots of options to suit different lifestyles, from one-touch personal alarms and smartwatches with GPS tracking those with a more active lifestyle, to in-home devices that can offer medication reminders, activity alerts and welfare checks. Lots of our personal alarms are also equipped with automatic fall detection which can detect when someone falls and call for help when they might be unable to. This could include being unconscious after falling.
You can also choose to have 24/7 monitoring with most of our alarms, meaning there will always be someone on hand any time of day or night, to connect your loved one to the help they might need. This can offer further peace of mind that if you live further away or can’t be available around the clock, someone at our 24/7 Response Centre will always be there to help.
Call SureSafe’s team of friendly Independent Living Specialists on 0800 112 3201 to see how a SureSafe Alarm can help your loved one live at home, safer and for longer.