I write so often about technologies for home healthcare that this shocking infographic (below) caught my eye. It’s about germs on door knobs, light switches, keyboards, remote controllers, and much more. Did you know that most computer keyboards have 5 times more bacteria (from poop) than toilet seats? The dirtiest is the TV remote, whether in your home, hotel room, or hospital.
By Dr. Robert Schreiber and Pat Kelleher (reprinted with permission of Massachusetts Medical Society)
Our population is rapidly aging. By 2030, nearly 72 million people in the U.S. will be 65 or older. And not only are we aging faster, we’re also living longer: A report just released by the Centers for Disease Control charted U.S. life expectancy in excess of 78 years, the highest it’s ever been.
Additionally, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s, are affecting more and more people. Whatever the medical condition, whatever one’s age, however frail one may be, the desire remains strong to stay in one’s home, living as independently as possible. Home care may provide some help.
Currently, about 8 million Americans require some kind of medical care in the home, a number that will jump dramatically as people live longer, want to stay at home avoiding nursing homes or other living arrangements, and pressure mounts to control soaring health care costs. If you’ve thought of home care for yourself or a loved one, here are some things to consider.
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AARP says the vast majority of Americans over age 50 want to stay in their homes as they age. We’d rather stay in familiar surroundings with treasured memories and nearby friends and neighbors than seek assisted living and other options. Most homes, however, weren’t designed with that objective in mind. Often built by and for younger generations, they can pose hazards to someone with impaired mobility, balance or vision. Fortunately, some relatively inexpensive adaptations can accommodate life changes as we age. This article addresses the simplest of them.
Safety & Mobility
As we get older, or suffer an injury or other disability, our sore joints, weakened muscles, and a lack of balance, dexterity and vision make simple tasks difficult, including reaching, bending, lifting, and moving about more. This can contribute to accidents and affect our personal hygiene, nutrition, and well-being.
So remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With planning and preparation, you can help prevent falls and injuries rather than react to them.
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