Living independently at home is typically the most desirable situation for seniors in their golden years. Even when they have diminishing physical and mental capacities, homecare allows seniors to continue to live happy, healthy lives. Home safety is a crucial part of ensuring their well-being, so consider these home safety tips to help keep your elderly loved one safe in the place they feel the most comfortable.
Fires are always a concern in the home, especially for seniors who are often less mobile. You can help prevent fire accidents by making sure your elderly loved one’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are properly working. Replace the batteries and use the “test” feature to make sure the devices are operational. Place smoke detectors in kitchen areas, bedrooms, and hallways. You can install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or a main living area where it is easily accessible by your loved one or her in-home caregiver.
General Home Safety
There are many different types of safety concerns throughout the home. To prevent falls and injuries, ensure your loved one has proper-fitting shoes with good soles for walking. If she needs the assistance of a walking aid, such as a walker or cane, make sure it is the right size and is in working order.
Area rugs and scatter rugs should be removed or secured to the floor to avoid slips and falls. Electrical and telephone cords in high-traffic areas should also be removed, or have a professional technician run them along or through the walls to prevent trips. Ensure all carpet is properly secured, and when cleaning floors make sure a non-slip cleaner and polisher is used. Homecare typically includes light housekeeping, so your local homecare agency can help with many of these safety issues.
Make sure recommended bath aids are installed and in proper working order, such as handrails for the shower and bath or assistance rails around the toilet. Place a skid-proof mat on the bottom of the bathtub or shower area. Add a nightlight in the bathroom so that your loved one can easily find her way around in the dark. Prevent scalding or burns by keeping the water heater’s temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and mark cold/hot water clearly for your loved one and her in-home caregiver.