Elderly Safety - Tips to Create a Safe Living Environment
So, you've decided to take care of Mom or Dad, or both your parents at home. Congratulations, as caring for the elderly is a richly rewarding and gratifying experience.
Care giving can also be a challenging experience, but there are things that you can do to make both the environment and your care giving responsibilities easier and safer.
When caring for an elderly person in your home or theirs, basic elderly safety tips can help create a safe living environment. Safety and attention to detail means less confusion, reduced elderly falls risk, and easier navigation inside the home for your loved one. Safety in the home doesn't stop in the living room, but continues into the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Studies have shown that the most accidents in a home environment occur in the bathroom and kitchen areas.
Carefully explore your home for potential signs of danger or elderly falls risk. Don't look at the home through your eyes, but through the eyes of an elderly parent who perhaps has difficulty seeing, moving, lifting their feet, or making snap decisions. Play the part of an elderly individual; blindfold one eye, walk while shuffling your feet and so forth. In this way, you may notice things that you take for granted but could cause elderly falls.
For example, you can easily navigate a raised threshold, but what about Mom and her walker or wheelchair? You may not find it difficult to climb into the bathtub, but Dad might, to the point of refusing to take a bath.
You take for granted the ability to sit down on a toilet seat or plugging in a blow dryer.
These simple tasks may not be so easy for someone experiencing difficulties in depth perception, those diagnosed with Parkinson's, or the elderly parent diagnosed with any stage of dementia.
Making Your Home Safe
Every caregiver needs to look at their home or the caregiving environment carefully. For example, a fireplace may be a wonderful source of heat in the winter, but is there any chance that Dad, diagnosed with Alzheimer's, may not feel warm enough and open the fireplace door to get closer to the heat?
Is there any chance that Mom may lose her balance and fall when reaching over her head to grab the dishes to set the dinner table? Will Dad trip and fall over her favorite floral carpet? Is Dad able to get into and out of his favorite recliner without having to grab onto something or losing his balance?These are the types of questions that any caregiver needs to ask herself in their environment.
Whether your home has stairs, steps, or high thresholds, you've got to take these into consideration with an elderly person who has difficulty lifting their feet. Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's disease tend a shuffle, and are afraid to lift their feet from the ground for fear of elderly falls.
The danger to elderly safety of ordinary kitchen appliances, knives, or even contents of a refrigerator are real and valid to family members taking care of someone with moderate to advanced stages of Alzheimer's. Is there any chance of an elderly Alzheimer's patient eating toilet paper? Yes. Is there a chance that someone diagnosed with dementia may very well try to eat the plastic fruit in the bowl on the kitchen table? Yes.
Making the home safe involves more than tucking electrical cords along the baseboards or under rugs, making sure that rugs are secured firmly to the flooring, and installing grab bars and non-slip stickers or strips to the bathroom floor.
Making the home safe means expecting, and preparing for, the worst. Don't take chances with the safety and wellness of your loved one. Do your best to go through each and every room of the house. Put kitchen knives and other sharp objects in locked drawers.
Secure bathroom supplies, no matter how innocent you may think them, in a secured cabinet.
Elderly Safety - Conclusion
When creating a safe home environment for your loved one, try to anticipate the worst thing that someone can do in that room. Soap can be eaten, shampoo can be drunk, and electrical cords can be tripped over. Make your caregiving experience as compassionate, enriched, and full of quality as you can make it in order to ensure the elderly safety of your loved one, other family members, and anyone who enters the caregiving environment.
Elderly Safety to In Home Elder Care
Grab Bars - Safety First
Medical Alert Devices
Home Medical Equipment
Home Security Alarms
Caregiver Products - Home Safety
Low Vision Aids
Medical Scooter Discussion
Home Medical Supplies
In Home Elder Care
Adult Protective Services
Elderly Dementia - A Discussion