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Talking Points for Helping Senior Loved Ones Stay Safe at Home

Homelife Care from Cox Click to view larger
A Personal Emergency Response System (or PERS), such as Homelife Care from Cox, can provide peace of mind for aging loved ones who want to remain independent. (Cox Communications photo)

As the baby boomer generation ages into their 60s, 70s and beyond, it is more important than ever for families to talk with their senior loved ones about ways they can preserve their independence and quality of life as they grow older. But this isn’t always an easy conversation to have, for both the senior or their family caregiver.

For younger adults, taking on the responsibility of caring for their aging parents or other senior loved ones can be a shock, especially if they also have children. Likewise, the role reversal of becoming reliant on your children after a lifetime of caring for them can be difficult for senior parents to accept. That’s why it’s essential to navigate this conversation with sensitivity and respect for both parties.

While the answer will vary depending on everyone’s situation, one of the most common solutions is to consider a Personal Emergency Response System (or PERS), such as Homelife Care from Cox.

Below are some tips to help you talk to your senior loved ones about how a PERS, such as Cox Homelife Care, can help provide them with the independence they deserve while ensuring the peace of mind that they’re protected.

Explain how a PERS can help them stay in their home

The most difficult thing for aging seniors to accept is losing their sense of independence, which is why many resist the idea of assisted-care facilities. The advantage of a PERS is that it’s designed so that seniors can remain in their home safely, for much longer. Being able to maintain their independent lifestyle while also being secure in the event of an emergency ensures the best of both worlds.

Explain how rapid response can save lives

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental falls are the leading cause of injury in older Americans. Every year, one in three seniors suffers a fall because of a lack of balance or medical issues, and those who don’t receive immediate care can face dire consequences. Having a PERS is one of the most effective ways to ensure that, should a fall occur, the victim will get help as soon as possible.

In addition to using a PERS, there are practical steps you can take with your loved one to avoid falls, including addressing potential hazards in the home (rugs, slippery stairs, etc.) and installing safety bars in bathrooms.

Explain how the cost is affordable

Sadly, one of the most common issues preventing seniors from considering any kind of assisted-living support is cost. Fortunately, implementing a PERS can be extremely cost-effective. Sit down with your loved one and compare the monthly cost of a PERS with nearby retirement homes, independent-living facilities and assisted-care locations. The difference in cost can be extremely eye-opening and may help break down their preconceptions about affordability.

Explain how easy it is to use

PERS technology has evolved significantly over the years, but that doesn’t mean it’s gotten more complicated. In fact, advances in technology have actually made modern PERS more convenient than ever. For example, many features can be activated just by talking. Because most of the features on a PERS are automated, they’re not disruptive to their life at all.

Additionally, you should explain that professionals will help set up the PERS in person so that your loved one can understand the technology and have all their questions answered before the system is turned on.

Explain how unobtrusive they are

No matter how old we get, how we look to others is still extremely important. That’s why it’s important to talk directly about the design of the device with your loved ones. Along with becoming more user-friendly, one of the benefits of the evolution of PERS technology is how much more attractive and discreet they are. Many seniors may have bad memories of large, clunky devices that make them stand out or feel embarrassed. However, modern PERS technology is designed to be completely unobtrusive.

Whatever decision you reach with your loved one, taking the time to talk to them about their options is critical. A cost-effective PERS, such as Cox Homelife Care, may be the ideal solution to help them preserve their independence, security and quality of life while providing you with the peace of mind that they’re protected.

Click here for more stories behind life’s most important connections.

— Rob Frappier represents Cox Communications.

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