VNA Answer Nurse: Home Health Care

Q: My mother just turned 76. She’s very active and independent now, but I’m worried about as she ages how she’ll be able to still live at home independently. She also spends a great deal of time outdoors, is that safe for her?

Agings a beautiful thing that comes with some scary side effects, but you can prevent many of these health concerns and protect your loved ones with the right tools and knowledge. It’s never too early to identify what’s important to you with senior care.

Private Home Care

Private home care can be an option for those who want to remain independent at home but need a little assistance with everyday tasks. Home health aides can help with activities such as cooking, laundry, light housekeeping, gardening, and running errands. Private Care also brings the bonus of companionship and a friendly face for those living alone. Home health aides can also provide assistance with bathing and medication reminders.

Fall Prevention

Falls are the number one cause for injury and hospital visits due to trauma for those aged 65 years or older. To help prevent falls, you might consider installing a ramp at entry doors, grab bars in the tub or shower and removing small area rugs from high traffic walkways. For extra security a medical alert system, such as Phillips Lifeline, might be considered. This can provide you and your loved one the assurance of emergency assistance should they need it.

Sun Protection

Moderate sun exposure is acceptable for most people. The sun can help loosen stiff joints and muscles, offer Vitamin D and promote natural melatonin. However, hot summers provide high risks for older adults. They are more susceptible to skin cancer and heat stroke. To protect your loved one, and yourself, apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 before heading outdoors. Limit sun exposure to before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. when UV rays are weakest. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing and make sure you drink plenty of water while outdoors.

We know it can be challenging to address changes as our loved ones age. But it’s important to remain patient and open to new possibilities on both sides. Socialization, love and support are important for everyone. With the assistance of private care services, simple modifications to a home and educating ourselves on best practices for daily living, your loved one can continue to live an active and independent life and you can have peace of mind.

This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality private and home health care to Brevard County patients from Titusville to Barefoot Bay.

To learn more about VNA Private Care, call 321-752-7550 or visit