Tips to help you stay safe at home for longer

 Most requiring additional personal or medical support now choose to access elderly care at home. Yet the key to staying at home for longer often lies with your health, which can be unpredictable.

Thankfully advances in technology mean companies are frequently releasing new products into a growing elderly care and mobility market – an industry that is fuelled by an ageing population.

At UK Care Guide we understand that most facing the prospect of elderly care prefer to stay at home – which is why we’ve created this section of our site, filled with helpful articles and guides to help you to do so.

In this particular article we explain how handy tools can help you to stay safe at home for longer – with minimum expense.

Stay mobile and delay elderly care

Mobility is often the key to independence – and therefore it increases the chances of accessing elderly care at home.

There’s little that can be done about medical mobility issues aside therapies, medicines and exercises – but luckily there are some gadgets and products that can help you to get out and about or around the house.

Although they are sometimes viewed as ‘old-fashioned’, walking sticks are actually a great option for anyone with less significant mobility concerns.

This could be the difference between struggling and suffering, or enjoying a walk or an outing with ease. Dual-purpose frames and shopping trolleys with mobility facilities attached are also popular option – as they are becoming increasingly discreet.

Choosing appropriate footwear is also important – and you may be entitled to funding to help you to purchase specialist shoes. Speak to your social worker, GP or podiatrist about shoes, socks and other accessories you may need to stay mobile.

Mobility scooters are perfect for individuals with significantly reduced mobility. These small, nippy machines make getting out and about easy – and most don’t require a driving license. Once the initial outlay has been covered, they’re also inexpensive to run.

If finance is a concern, most companies offer interest-free payment plans, and there are also various government grants available. You can find lots more about mobility scooters here in our dedicated article – or you may prefer to browse the collection in our mobility shop.

Access elderly care at home with handy, inexpensive accessories

Your eligibility to access elderly care at home will depend on your personal and medical situation. Yet you can make elderly care at home easier for yourself and your caregivers with just a few simple, inexpensive accessories.

Handrails are one example of this. Easy and cheap to purchase and fit, this could mean the difference between you using just a couple of rooms in the house, or moving around with ease.

Bathing aides are also popular ways to adapt a home for elderly care, without invasive construction work. Shower seats, raised toilet lids and steps are popular, whilst the addition of a commode can eliminate the need for a downstairs bathroom for a short period of time.

Beds and chairs can also be purchased to make getting up and about easier. Extras such as non-slip mats, ramps, telephones with large numbers and medical alarms can be incredibly useful.

Safety can also be a concern for those who prefer to access elderly care at home. There are many security accessories that can be fitted to keep you safe – including simple things like door chains, intercom systems and burglar alarms. 

Consider investing in more substantial changes to stay at home for longer

It is sometimes necessary to step up the care you receive, perhaps as the result of a progressive illness or loss of mobility. This often results in a shift to residential care – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Most homes can now be adapted to enable their inhabitants to access elderly care safely.

Popular adaptations include new bathrooms – which often incorporate a sit-in shower, or a walk-in bath with a hoist. Specialist toilets can also be fitted.

For homes with several floors, downstairs bathrooms often eliminate the need for a perch stair lift or significant modifications upstairs. Where this is unavoidable, stair lifts are a great option. Walls can be removed to provide a more ‘open plan’ environment, allowing wheelchair users to get about more easily.

There is of course a cost attached to making significant modifications to your home – but it is usually significantly lower than the cost of prolonged residential care, and outweighed by the individual’s wish to remain at home for longer.

You may be eligible for local authority funding or a grant to help with modifications, so it’s worth exploring this option further with your GP or social worker.

Gadgets and gizmos to help you stay safe at home

Recent advances in technology have helped older people to remain independent and live more easily in their own homes.

Products range from smaller gadgets to more advanced systems designed to support individuals in a variety of ways – from keeping you safe to helping you to access elderly care. Amongst the smaller items are medical and panic alarms, timers for lamps, simple mobile phones, large-button telephones fitted with call guarding technology, hearing aid loops, intercoms and TV remotes.

Bigger investments include smart televisions, TENS machines, massage cushions, hoists and electric mobility chairs and beds.

Where Dementia and memory loss is a concern, there are specific products designed to keep you safe at home. These include some products above, such as call barring phones and panic alarms, but there are also some additional aides to prevent memory loss and confusion from becoming a security issue.

These include key safes, Dementia-friendly digital clocks with large digits and calendars and sensors to alert relatives and carers to any concerning movements.

It’s more than possible to retain independence with a few simple steps – and choose elderly care at home for longer. Interested in finding out more about elderly care options? Would you like to invest in aides to help you to access elderly care at home for longer?