How To Establish Senior Safety in the Home
Falling is a very real risk for seniors. According to the CDC, every year more than 25% of elderly citizens fall, with about 20% of incidents resulting in serious bodily harm, such as a traumatic brain injury or fractured hip. Once someone falls down a first time, the likelihood of it happening again becomes twice as high. The good news is that there is much you can do to lower the risk of your parent or spouse falling. It starts with safety at home, from improving conditions to utilizing the support of in-home care.
The Basics of Home Safety for Seniors
Go through the house to identify and eliminate hazards. The CDC provides a thorough checklist for you to use so you do not miss anything. Examples of changes to make include the following:
- Securing or removing rugs
- Keeping hallways, walkways, and steps clear of clutter
- Attaching handrails to stairways
- Installing grab bars in tubs, by toilets, and in other relevant places
- Properly lighting all areas, including using nightlights
- Rearranging furniture for open access
- Moving cords and wires out of the way
- Getting a stepstool with a handle to hold on to
Some modifications may require more work. For example, you may need to take out front steps to create a zero-threshold entryway. You may also need to replace toilets with higher models, install a walk-in tub, or add a shower chair. These may be costly adjustments, but they can save your loved one from a painful injury and long recovery that will require additional care.
Falls are not the only danger to protect against. Other safeguards include using devices to monitor water temperature and automatically turn off ovens and stoves, ensuring all carbon monoxide and smoke alarms function, and setting up a medical alert system.
How In-Home Care Helps
Senior safety can be an overwhelming responsibility to take on by yourself. It can be even more challenging when you are not the primary caregiver, do not live close by, or have your own health issues to deal with. Although you may visit often or rely on modern technology to keep in touch, you may feel that your efforts are not enough, causing you to worry about the safety of your loved one.
A common solution is to turn to others who care about your family. Family members and friends may have good intentions, but they are not always reliable simply because problems often arise in their own lives. No one may even be willing to help because of the high commitment. A more stable choice is professional in-home care.
This kind of care provides a companion to your loved one to assist with daily activities, such as getting dressed and eating. With someone in the home to supervise and aid, your elderly parent or spouse will be safer and less likely to fall or get hurt in another way. Even if you are in the home too, you cannot always give your full attention to your senior loved one. Having help in the home eases some of your burden.
Whether you are interested in a medical alert system or in-home care, CareAssist has what you need. Check out our FAQs to learn more or contact us for further information.