Creating a Safe Environment for the Elderly At Home
According to an AARP study, nearly three quarters of participants said they’d rather stay in their home as long as they could. While nursing facilities and assisted-living facilities are more convenient and safe, living at home is more comfortable. Additionally, living at home saves much more money than living in an assisted-living facility.
However, even many senior citizens would be quick to admit that the dangers of living at home at an old age can be great. There are many things that pose a risk to senior citizens’ health. Think about child-proofing your house; now, think about child-proofing your house five times greater than normal.
Seniors are much more fragile than infants. Their bones are brittle, yet they are still able to do things that infants can’t, such as walking and opening medicine bottles.
Therefore, here are some things you can do to help your loved one live comfortably and safely at home.
All things safety
You may need to remove or clearly organize medicine bottles. The number-one cause of death for seniors is drug overdose. Many senior citizens can’t tell the difference in their medicine.
Additionally, you should consider adding carbon monoxide monitors, replace fire extinguishers, replace the batteries in the smoke detectors, keep the home well-lit, and create emergency escape routes.
Because seniors have decreased vision, judgment and balance, it will be necessary to remove things that could be hazards to seniors.
This means removing any raised steps, removing throw away rugs, moving furniture around that could cause trips, keeping spills off wood floors, putting rubber bases on the bottom of canes/walkers, and removing anything off walls that could snatch clothing.
The bathroom is the room with the greatest fear of danger. There are too many elements that make living dangerous for seniors, including water, medicine, hard floors, obtruding objects, and lack of support.
Therefore, you will want to replace any tubs with floor-level showers. These showers should have little to no raise on the bottom. They should also have sufficient rails and a seat.
Make certain the bathroom can be well-ventilated to prevent any overheating from shower water. Everything a senior needs should be at eye-level or lower. They should not have to reach for anything because it could cause imbalance.
If the senior plans to live at home alone, a loved one should often visit and help with daily activities. This is something that family members can take turns doing. Seniors will need rides to the grocery store, help getting dressed, help cleaning the house, and help cooking large meals.
Of course, it is more advisable to have someone stay with seniors. There are even services that have CNAs come to your loved one’s home and help take care of him or her. These in-home living assistants are a blessing when other family members have busy schedules and their own life to attend to. Some health insurance programs pay for these types of services.
In case you haven’t noticed, many of these tips are inexpensive. Some of them, such as removing rugs, don’t even cost money. The main thing here is that you need to consider every small detail that could harm your loved one. We are so used to how we live that we don’t stop to consider they could be a threat to an older person. Utilize these tips to help give you a starting guide to giving your elderly loved one a safe home.
Megan Tripper writes for the Safe Sound Family, a leading source of information on family safety, home security system, burglar proofing windows and other topics related to home and family care.