Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Health Tips for June 17

Health Tip: Choosing an Assisted Living Option

Assisted living housing may be the ideal solution for an aging person who can't quite live alone, but who doesn't need the complete services of a nursing home.

Rotary International offers this list of assisted living options:

  • Individual apartments or homes -- which are part of a senior community, where social activity, security and supervision are there if needed.
  • Congregate housing -- which offers independent living in private residences, but with the benefit of community meals and activities.
  • Assisted living housing -- which offers help with some daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and cooking.
  • Board and care housing -- which offers community meals and activities, and assistance with activities such as bathing and grooming, getting dressed and using the toilet.
  • Continuing-care retirement communities -- which are senior-housing complexes that offer a variety of assisted living options, often from independent quarters to nursing facilities.

Health Tip: Fire Safety for Seniors

People 85 and older are five times more likely than younger people to die in a fire, the Web site warns.

Here's the site's list of why seniors are at increased risk of death or injury in a fire:

  • Seniors' reflexes and response times are not always as fast as those of younger people.
  • Medications that many seniors take may impact reflexes and decision-making abilities.
  • Seniors who live alone don't have the help they need to prevent and react to factors that cause fires, including cooking and accidents.
  • Unsafe use of cigarettes and other smoking materials is a common cause of fires involving seniors.
  • Improperly used or maintained heating equipment, such as wood-burning stoves or electric space heaters, are a frequent cause of fires involving older people.
  • Wiring problems in older homes are another significant cause of fires.

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