Getting your home ready
Help Seniors Live Safely & Comfortably
by Eliminating Safety Hazards at Home
Guest article by Anna Graves, a freelance writer
who lives on a farm in upstate New York.
Researchers from Colorado State University reported what most of us long suspected—the number one reason seniors fall in their home is tripping over something they didn’t see on the floor. The dangers don’t stop at the front door, either; uneven sidewalks, poor lighting and steep inclines present challenges for seniors. While you can’t remove every risk of a fall, you can explore your options to ensure your home (or the home of an elderly parent or friend) is safe.
First Things First
Every room in the home has potential dangers. Take a tour of the home with a friend or relative and look for hidden risks of a fall. Read the rest of this entry »
Multi-generational homes were common during the Great Depression but declined once people rebounded economically. Now, as John Graham, coauthor of Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living, observes, the recent recession has prompted a move back from valuing independence to interdependence.
Some 51 million Americans (16.7% of the population) live in a house with at least two adult generations, or a grandparent with at least one other generation, under one roof, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. The Pew analysis also reported a 10.5% increase in multi-generation households from 2007 to 2009. Now builders are responding with homes designed specifically for multi-generation homes, or that can be modified to support that option later.
Could this trend be a utopia of built-in child care, elder care, three square meals, and shared costs? Could it avoid isolation in old age? Read the rest of this entry »
By Tina Hilding, College of Engineering and Architecture
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have received a National Science Foundation grant to share their “smart home in a box” technology with 60 institutions and scientists around the world in what will be the largest-ever installation of such home monitoring systems.
The collaborators will develop their own monitoring projects in a home or a lab and report back their results. With this data, the WSU researchers will be able to develop a system for using and sharing cutting-edge, smart environments data on a large scale. Read the rest of this entry »
CAPABLE, which stands for Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders, is a Baltimore-based project that helps low-income older adults “age in place” with assistance from occupational therapists, nurses and handymen.
The project is being closely watched by Medicaid officials in other states as a way to coordinate care, improve personal function, and avoid pricey and sometimes preventable nursing home admissions. Today, it’s difficult for Medicaid patients to get these services.
With more than $8 million in research money from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the project goes beyond home repair for health. It starts with a full-scale assessment of each participant’s needs. Read the rest of this entry »
Modern Health Talk features dozens of articles on getting your home ready for the disabled or elderly. (See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/tag/getting-ready/.) Some of the best ideas are included here.
What Changes Should be Made First?
Focus on Safety before convenience, Easy before difficult, Temporary before permanent, and Affordable before extravagant. Read the rest of this entry »
I met Leanne Vanier a few months ago and found that she had a very interesting perspective of the healing effects of color, light and art. I connected with that concept because of previous articles I wrote on How Light Effects Melatonin and Sleep and How Light from Electronics Effects Sleep. Then I found her lecture on YouTube in three-parts. All three are embedded here with my summary notes.
Leanne describes how our bodies absorb and use different light frequencies and the latest scientific research on medical applications of color and light for treating cancer and other illnesses. In one example, she described using bright sunlight or blue light therapy on newborn babies with jaundice. Another example was about soldiers whose war wounds heal faster in natural open-air sunlight. Read the rest of this entry »
Brian Profit wrote a good article about technology embedded in ordinary objects and how they are being connected in ways the industry calls “The Internet of Things.” Since I introduced IBM to the connected home market in the early 1990s and ran a Digital Home consulting firm after retiring, I felt compelled to share my perspective in a comment to Brian’s article, which I include below.
The “smart home” concept has been stuck in the niche of DIY geeks and high-end new homes with professional installation for over 40 years, always just on the cusp of becoming a mainstream market. Brian touched on the issue of protocol compatibility, but why is that such an issue, and what other issues are there? Read the rest of this entry »
Danny Long became a 24×7 caretaker for his wife, Shelly, after a botched spinal cord operation in 2008. The surgery was supposed to improve the failing sense of touch in her hands and feet, but instead it left her a quadriplegic with no feeling at all, except the severe pain in her back. Afterwards, no doctor would predict that she could ever walk again. But today, with help from her friends and faith, and the loving support of her creative and supportive husband, Shelly walks a mile every three days using the large gait trainer shown.
At some point, Danny decided to document her progress and their therapy journey in a series of videos. One showed how he adapted an old exercise bike to work for someone in a wheelchair. Another showed home-build parallel bars that Shelly used to practice standing and walking. And a third showed the walking harness he made to establish weight bearing safely. There are other videos on his Vimeo page, but the one I include below is a summary of their story.
By Amanda Benjamin
The thought of being the victim of a home invasion is upsetting, to say the least. While a crook breaks into your home when it’s empty, a home invader enters when you’re still there. A home invasion is far more traumatic than a burglary, and it can happen to any home in any neighborhood whenever.
However, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from a home invasion, both before it happens and if you find yourself the victim of being one. Here are some of the ways you can personally protect yourself:
- Avoid ostentatious displays of luxury possessions like expensive cars, electronics, furs, jewelry, art or designer clothing.
- Keep any cash, gold, silver and expensive jewelry in a deposit box at a bank — or very well hidden, in the home.
- Consider installing a floor safe somewhere in your home. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are just a few of the statistics:
- Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Half of which are repeat fallers.
- For people aged 65-84 years, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death; for those aged 85 years or older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death.
- Falls account for 87% of all fractures among people over the age of 65 and are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury.
- Half of all elderly adults (over the age of 65) hospitalized for hip fractures cannot return home or live independently after the fracture.
Elderly people face an increased risk of slips, trips and falls due to diminished mobility, strength and balance that comes naturally with old age. The increased risk of falling is coupled with a higher likelihood of health complications related to the fall. An elderly person faces twice the chance of death due to falls than younger people according to the Centers for Disease Control. Read the rest of this entry »