As in-home care continues to grow in popularity among seniors, it's crucial to ensure their continued safety as they remain in their homes. These tips can assist in preventing falls and other accidents as well as taking precautions to lessen the possibility of other dangers. Your peace of mind will increase as your loved one continues to enjoy the comfort of their own home while reducing any anxiety they may feel or concerns they may have pertaining to their well being.
Reduce the risk of a fall.
According to The National Council on Aging, falls are the number one cause of injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, for aging Americans. Previously we published this article on our blog with helpful tips on ways falls can be prevented. In addition, any rugs should be tacked down or removed. Items previously stored on higher shelves should be lowered so stools, ladders, or reaching are no longer necessary. Inspect all railings and stairs inside and outside the home to ensure they are sturdy. Non-slip surfaces should be added to staircases, and a chairlift may also be something to consider. If a walking aid is necessary, be sure that it has been correctly measured to provide both comfort and safety for your loved one. A Personal Emergency Response System can be worn by the individual and alert others in the event of a fall. We have several options for medical alert devices and you can find more information about those on our website. Remind your loved one to take their time when standing up and to be sure they have their balance. Including a supervised balance exercise routine in their life can be helpful in reducing the risk of a fall and should be discussed with their primary physician before beginning.
Be Aware of Bathroom Hazards.
Any bath mats should have non-slip bottoms and the tub should be skid-proofed as well. Install safety grab bars in and around showers, tubs, and toilets. If this has already been done, check to be certain they are still sturdy. The water heater temperature should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below, as well as clearly marking hot and cold faucets. If possible, have your loved one bathe only when you or a caregiver can be present.
Medication Monitoring, Organization, and Dispensing.
Frequently review medications and ensure they are not expired and all are labeled clearly. Consider an automated medication dispensers for a helpful and affordable way to reduce the risk of mixing up doses.
All kitchen appliances should be marked clearly to indicate "on" and "off" positions. Kettles should have automatic shut-offs. Check fridge, cupboards, and pantry for expired items. Any hazardous products should be kept separate from food. Heavy items and appliances should be kept at waist level or on the counter top to avoid your loved one having to lift anything strenuous. Be sure that a fire extinguisher is handy and check smoke detectors. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries replaced at least twice a year.
Taking precautions can greatly reduce the chances of injury and help ensure the health and safety of your loved one. Throughout the year, be sure to schedule routine check ups around the home for continued assurance that potential hazards have been properly addressed.