Home safety for the elderly is the best, but is it safe for the elderly in your life? Mum and dad are getting on with age and can’t live on their own anymore. They should be at home close to family and friends. But that comes with a lot of changes. At some point, it stops being business as usual. Home safety tips for the elderly are now your life-line.
An aging parent requires much love and attention to ensure they have the best senior years. Home is comfortable, stable, and full of memories. They get to interact with the grandkids who keep a smile on their faces. Once you decide that having an elderly parent at home is the best decision, then it’s time to revisit safety precautions. Many elderly parents live at home. Only about 4.5% live in nursing homes.
1. Make the Home Fall-Safe
As the older person advances in age, mobility is not as fluid as it was before. Falls are considered as the number one safety concern in most homes with senior citizens. According to statistics, every 11 seconds, an older adult falls, and every 19 minutes, the fall is fatal. There are numerous hazards that you must get rid of to reduce the chance of a fall at home.
In the living room, to start with, that throw rug you treasure so much must go. Chances of an elderly parent or relative tripping on it are higher than you can imagine. Also, consider renovating or changing the furniture. It’s safety tips for the elderly than being sorry. In case of a fall when you are not at home, getting up is next to impossible.
2. Free-up Walking Space
Clear up all the clutter you have. Make the home have more free space for more natural movement. It’s better to open it up and remove unwanted furniture that is only on the way. If you leave it as it is, it will happen. It’s not as easy for them to squeeze through tight corners and spaces as it was before. In case they are in a wheel-chair or use supporters like crutches, the area needs to be wider.
3. Get Rid of Fire Hazards
One of the essential home safety tips for the elderly is to remove all fire hazards. Start by checking all the electric wiring in your home. Ensure everything is at tip-top shape. It is easy for you to react when there is a fire, but it’s not for them.
Follow this by checking your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries often. If you don’t have them, the time is now to install some. Handle all cooking yourself or have meals ready at all times. Let granny stay away from the stove, as hard as that can be. You can cook together when you are at home to watch over her.
4. Danger Lurks in the Bedroom
Bedrooms are where most senior citizens spend the majority of the day. Ensure you continuously inspect their rooms to spot any danger lurking. First, change the beddings often to avoid the accumulation of germs. It’s easy for them to get sick. Keeping them in better health is a priority.
Get a better mattress that doesn’t sag because it can easily bruise your grandpa. A saggy bed is not only uncomfortable but hard for an older person to land two feet down. Without assistance, trying too hard to get up can result in a fall or a sprain.
5. Make the bathroom Safe
A safe home is not complete without a safe bathroom. Many people suffer injuries in the bathroom, and senior citizens are most vulnerable to falls. Showering is essential, and not all older adults need or will accept assistance. Start by installing a railing that they can grasp while bathing. Grab bars come in handy. Install them around the toilet as well for support when sitting and standing.
Cover the bathroom floor with non-slip mats, especially those made using rubber. Mats can get slippery, so clean them as often as you can. For additional shower support, place a stable stool in the shower. They can sit down while washing to avoid straining.
6. Install Night-Lights
Line up night-lights from the bedroom to the bathroom and inside it. At night, it makes it easy for granny to get up without needing assistance to relieve herself. The lights are affordable and reduce the chances of falling. They don’t have to turn the lights on or off in the middle of the night.
7. Display Emergency Numbers
A crucial home safety tip to keep in mind is writing down and displaying all emergency numbers. Write to them or print them in big font. In case of an emergency, it becomes easy to call for help. Realistically it’s not possible to be home all day every day for most people even with an elder at home. One way to keep yourself from worrying is to make sure emergency contacts are in full view.
8. Get a Medical Alert Device
Apart from displaying emergency numbers in bold writing, consider buying a medical alert device. In case a senior falls or is unwell, all they have to do is press the medical alert device. Soon medics will be at your door to check on them. It’s essential to have one if they have any pre-existing illnesses that require monitoring or in the event of a fall.
9. Clear up the Backyard
The house is not the only place to consider when you have a senior citizen living at home. No one likes staying inside all day, especially when it’s nice outside. Make the outdoors senior-friendly. In case there are stairs, make sure the railing is strong and stable. If one uses a wheel-chair, then it’s time to install a ramp. Consider building a gazebo with a shade where one can sit and relax. Cut the grass and clear a path to the sitting area.
10. Remove all Poisonous Materials
There are cleaning agents and other substances in the home that you must throw away. With frail health and age, inhaling fumes even from strong detergents can be poisonous. Some items like stain removers and bleach have over-powering smells. Label clearly all substances in your home and get rid of those that are too hazardous.
An older adult living in your home will completely change your way of life. You must elder-proof the house to keep them safe. Here are some of the most crucial home safety tips for the elderly to keep in mind as you start making changes.