How to Make Your Home Safe for the Elderly
Our homes provide comfort, familiarity, and feelings of continued independence and security. So, having a senior continue to live at home makes sense. But in order to safely share one’s home with an elderly parent, families must take into consideration potential safety issues that may arise. Depending on the health and mobility of the elderly family member in question, one’s home may require minor or major adjustments to ensure that all residents are safe from accidental injury.
Prevent falls and injuries
For seniors, accidental falls are a serious problem and the leading cause of broken bones, head injuries, cuts, and bruises. However, these risks can be mitigated by taking certain precautions. To start, it’s important that the family recognizes the common causes of senior falls.
Poor lighting and decreased vision are common culprits. Not only does a person’s eyesight change as they age, but other conditions may affect their ability to see clearly. To counter decreased vision, families should add more lighting or brighter lights if necessary.
In addition to poor lighting, slippery floors or area rugs that move may be dangerous. Toys from pets and children can create clutter and become tripping hazards, as well. It’s important to make sure that walkways are kept clear to reduce the risk of a parent stumbling or tripping.
Accessibility can be a problem for one’s parents if they have difficulty moving without a walker or wheelchair. This can be resolved with the installation of a ramp leading to the front or a side door. Doorways will also need to be widened to 6 inches or wider to allow wheelchairs to pass through easily. To make doors easier to open for people with arthritis, change handles from knobs to levers.
Educate family members
When moving an older family member into one’s home, it’s important that all residents understand what to do in the event of a medical emergency. Establish a protocol that includes everyone taking classes for basic CPR and first aid. The family should be taught how to recognize the signs of a medical emergency, including those for serious problems such as a heart attack or stroke, and should know when to call 911. It could also be a good idea to keep a list of all the senior resident’s medical conditions, along with the names of their doctors and medications.
Check on them frequently
Home safety for seniors means checking in with your loved one. You, your loved one’s neighbors, and a professional caregiver can help to make sure they are safe.
Another great option is to install cameras around the house so you can monitor your elederly loved ones even when you’re at work or away from home.
To learn more about security cameras and home automation, contact Titan Alarm.