When a senior chooses to live independently at home, the environment must be kept safe to accommodate any functional limitations. There are some non-profit agencies that provide home safety assessments designed to identify and eliminate unknown hazards in the homes of older adults.
Home modifications are changes made to the patient’s home in order to fit their physical limitations and continue their safe and independent living. Domestic changes may include adding assistive technology or making structural changes.
- Home Modification Equipment:
- Hoyer Lifts
- Bath benches
- Hospital beds
- Additional handrails on stairways
- Access ramp
- Simple Modifications:
- Placing things in lower cabinets
- Installing grab bars
- Removing throw rugs
- More nightlights around the house/apartment
- Attachable grips for doorknobs, faucets, lamp switches
- Financing Home Modifications:
- Construction eligible for:
- Free or reduced cost services
Emergency Response Systems
A personal Emergency Response System is an electronic device designed to let you summon help in an emergency. It usually has three components: a small radio transmitter (a help button carried or worn by the user); a console connected to the user’s telephone; and an emergency response center that monitors calls.
- When the user presses the transmitter’s help button at emergency situation, then the console automatically dials one or more pre-selected emergency telephone numbers. Most systems are programmed to telephone an emergency response center where the caller is identified. The center will try to determine the nature of the emergency. Center staff also may review your medical history and check to see who should be notified.
- If the center cannot contact you or determine whether an emergency exists, it will alert emergency service providers to go to your home. With most systems, the center will monitor the situation until the crisis is resolved.
- The system can be purchased, rented, or leased. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid, in most states, will pay for the purchase of equipment, nor will most insurance companies. The few insurance companies that do pay require a doctor’s recommendation. Some hospitals and social service agencies may subsidize fees for low-income users. Purchase prices normally range from $200 to more than $1,500. You also will have to pay an installation fee and a monthly monitoring charge which may cost from $10 to $30.