Age-proofing a house can sometimes feel overwhelming. While you don’t want to restrict your senior loved one’s movements, you also need to make sure he or she has a safe environment to live in. You may also be surprised to discover just how many dangers exist in a home for a senior who already has some health challenges. These five tips can help you get started on making your loved one’s home safer.
1. Start Outside
One of the biggest mistakes family caregivers make is focusing so much on the inside of the home that they forget seniors also get injured outdoors. Make sure your loved one’s driveway and all pathways to the home are safe. For instance, your loved one may need a ramp to get up the front steps or handrails along pathways to help him or her maintain balance. Outdoor lighting is also critical if your loved one goes out after dark.
2. Add Safety Features to the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas of the home. Add some nonskid mats to wet areas, such as in front of the bathtub. This room should also be well lit, and your loved one may appreciate some grab bars or a walk-in tub to make bathing safer.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading McKinney elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
3. Explore Automation Options
Technology offers several options for enhancing senior safety. For instance, you can set the lights to turn on automatically so your loved one can just walk into a room and find it well lit. You can also set up a camera and door-locking system your loved one can monitor with his or her smartphone. Automated alert systems are another option you can use to give your loved one a way to call for help if there’s an emergency.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care service seniors can trust and rely on.
4. Eliminate Fall Hazards
Your loved one may need some modifications made to the house to lessen the risk of fall-related injuries. For instance, he or she may need you to move furniture around to create a clear pathway through the house. Cords, pet toys, and other common items should be kept out of this main pathway. Your loved one may also need to have certain items moved to lower shelves so he or she doesn’t have to climb on a step stool to get what he or she needs. The bed may also need a lower mattress so your loved one can get out of it more easily.
5. Remember that Nothing Replaces Human Supervision
You can completely safety-proof a house and still have an accident happen. In most cases, this occurs when seniors try to do things that are beyond their current abilities. For instance, seniors often cut themselves while preparing meals, but it isn’t practical to simply banish all knives. Your loved one may need to be supervised to avoid starting a house fire or taking the wrong medication. Make sure to combine age-proofing strategies with high-quality supervision to give your loved one the safest living environment possible.
Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. McKinney respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392 to schedule a free in-home consultation.