Safety is one of the biggest concerns that children of elderly parents face. You know that they’re adults and can take care of themselves but there’s that lingering thought of what if something happened to them while they’re at home? Their home is supposed to be the safest place they can be, right? Yes, so there shouldn’t be anything for you to worry about… That’s what you would think but that’s not the case. Your home can be one of the most hazardous and unsafe places, especially for aging loved ones.
There are several health risks at home that seniors encounter every day. They don’t realize that it’s a health risk right then because it’s something they see every day but the key here is prevention. If possible, you want to help your elderly loved ones by creating a safe living environment before their home becomes a safety hazard.
That’s not saying go into their homes and making it look like you’re safeguarding it for a baby who’s just learning how to walk… it just means that you’re making adjustments to make their place of comfort safe for them. According to USA Today, 90% of Americans want to age in their own home. Even if they need a little bit of assistance at home, they’d rather hire a senior care assistant to come in a few days out of the week to help out and assist with home safety concerns.
If your elderly loved one lives alone, here are a few ways you can make their home a safe place for them to age in comfort.
Your elderly loved ones need to be able to move about their homes with ease. Talk with them first, of course, but look around their house for trip hazards like rugs and furniture in odd locations. Ask them if it’s okay to move certain furniture pieces to different areas or different rooms. Also, see if it’s ok to get rid of bulk rugs.
Make the Bathroom a Safe Place
A lot of injuries in the home happen due to accidents in the bathroom, and that’s for people of all ages. According to the CDC, it’s been reported that around 235,000 people make emergency room visits due to injuries in the bathroom and about one-third of those injuries occur either while using the bathroom or bathing/showering. Seniors are at high risk of suffering from an injury in this area of their home. Here are some things you can do to make the bathroom a little more safe for them:
- Have grab bars installed both in the shower as well as in the vicinity of the toilet
- Purchase a shower chair for seniors who can’t stand for long periods of time
- Lay non-slip rubber mats inside and outside of the shower
- Have a walk-in tub or shower installed
Make Sure the Outdoors are Just as Safe
A lot of senior falls and other injuries occur outdoors so it’s important to make the outdoors just as safe as the indoors. Whether they’re going outdoors to work in their garden or to simply sit on the porch and take in the fresh air, there are just as many safety hazards outside as it is indoors. One of the big things you can do to help your loved ones is to make sure they have clear pathways.
If there’s a water hose out, roll it up and place it in its appropriate area. If there is snow on the porch or the deck is wet from rain, encourage them to stay indoors until you or someone can come and clear it off. It’s also helpful to have a rubber mat in front of their porch.
Change the Hardware For Loved Ones Dealing With Arthritis
If you’ve never dealt with arthritis, then you may not be too familiar with the pain one can experience with the condition. Simple things that the average younger person can do with ease, like turning a door handle can mean excruciating pain for an elderly loved one. Consider changing the hardware on the doors from round doorknobs to lever-style door knobs. Even with cabinets and drawers… look into replacing the current hardware with hardware that will make it easy as possible for them to open and close the drawers.