Home safety becomes a crucial thing when parents reach their senior years. Your parent may be more vulnerable to falls at home at this age. With a drastic reduction to seeing and hearing, the need to incorporate the appropriate safety measures at home becomes inevitable. Luckily, although aging is unavoidable, you can easily prevent injuries, accidents, and fatal mishaps that may happen at home. Here are the top eight tips to consider to make your household a safe haven for your aging parents.
Falls are regarded as the leading cause of disability in seniors. While it’s quite hard to eliminate the risk of falling fully, it’s possible to lower the risks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized yearly due to fall injuries, while a further 3,000,000 are treated in emergency departments. You can minimize falls by placing non-slip rugs, providing sufficient lighting in the pathways, stairs, and hallways, decluttering the floor, and installing handrails on the stairs’ sides.
Installing an emergency response system for parents at home can mean the difference between life and death. For example, if your parent has a chronic medical condition, dementia, or high fall risk, you should consider installing this system. This system can be attached to the parent’s wrist, and they are nowadays extremely advanced as they include fall detection. Also, they may automatically call a family member or 911.
If you have parents who live independently and are capable of driving on their own. It would be a good idea to have GPS tracking installed in their vehicle in the event of an emergency, or just simply having peace of mind that they are safe.
As your parents age, there is a probability that their five senses will slowly decline. In general, they will not be as agile and fast as previously. So, keep potential fire accidents at bay. You can achieve this by installing a smoke detector, replacing faulty electrical cords, showing them the emergency exits, or even placing fire extinguishers in the living room and kitchen.
The main reason behind most elders’ falls is reduced coordination and muscle weakness. Fortunately, you may help strengthen their core and leg muscles by introducing low-impact exercises, such as yoga, Tai Chi, and weight. These exercises also help enhance their overall strength and balance. What’s more, they boost self-care and general wellness plans.
In some situations, the injury may worsen due to the incapability to contact assistance when needed. Ensure your parents have easy access to a phone near the place where they prefer spending most of their time, bathroom, and even bedroom. If they use a smartphone, ensure they understand how it functions. Also, create a list of essential emergency phone numbers to call, such as 911, doctor, poison control, professional caregiving service, and important family members.
Bathrooms can be dangerous for your aging parents as burns and falls are likely to happen. So, consider installing grab bars near the toilet and in the shower to improve your loved one’s safety around the bathroom. Also, install a thermostat on the water heater to avoid accidental burning when using the sink or showering. The bathroom floor and tub should also have non-slip mats.
Even if your parent has excellent vision, inadequate lighting can cause falls. Darkened areas can be dangerous. Thus, consider replacing burned-out light bulbs. Also, increase lighting to darkened areas like stairwells, kitchen, and bathroom.
Whether in the form of private caregivers or temporary home health service providers, home care plays a crucial role in protecting seniors. For example, a home care provider can offer occupational and physical therapy and nursing to help your aging parent recover from an accident or illness. Based on state requirements, some caregivers can provide medication reminders, assist with bathing, do shopping, and cook.
In conclusion, caring for elders is usually seen as a form of love. Whether you have an active family or a busy lifestyle, you are highly likely to need assistance and resources along the way. Here is whether the tips mentioned above come in handy. So, consider them a starting point towards discovering the right balance between your parents’ life and yours.