With an increasingly aging population, there are more people who are living independently at a greater age. However, this relatively recent phenomenon has meant that there is an increase in demand for information as to how to keep seniors safe in their own home. You need to be aware of the potential dangers that are present in every home so that you can support your loved one and maintain their independent living. Here are 5 ways to stay safe at home:
How the furniture is placed in the room needs to be assessed. Ideally, your loved one should easily be able to access the things that they regularly need. This may mean that furniture is removed from areas such as hallways, walkways and bedrooms so that access to items and other rooms is less restrictive.
With failing eyesight, the potential to trip increases, and so you must pay attention to how the home is lit. Ensure that lightbulbs are swapped out for bulbs with an increased wattage. This is especially important for the top and bottom of stairs, but also for task lighting for reading, etc. It’s a good idea to install a motion sensor light in the bedroom and hallways for nighttime bathroom visits.
Regularly test the alarms in your loved one’s home. Smoke alarms should be placed in each of the bedrooms, on each level of the home, in stairwells and lounges. If the senior tends to leave cookers on, you need to be extra vigilant that the alarms work. You can also introduce a medical alert so that in the event of an accident or distress help can be requested.
If your loved one has a lot of medicines prescribed, it is important that they take the prescribed dose to help alleviate any health problems that they may have. Not only can missing medicines have an impact on the health and wellbeing of your loved one, but the elderly are at risk of accidental overdose too. Medicines need to be clearly labeled and if possible divided into pill packs that are marked out for each day.
The kitchen is a room that carries the most risk for the frail and infirm but being able to prepare and eat food is a necessary function that seniors need to be able to do to maintain independent living. Rearrange the cupboards so that they don’t have to reach up or bend down low to get the utensils, pots, and pans that they need. Mark the on and off positions clearly on appliances. You will also need to check the expiration dates of foods that are in the refrigerator and cupboards.
As your loved one’s vision and mobility reduces it is important that you adjust the home to make it safer for their everyday living. While they may be resistant to change within the home, you need to explain to them that changes must be made to support how they live.