If you have an elderly family member who wishes to remain in their own home rather than going to a nursing home or retirement community, chances are you have considered or are currently considering hiring an in-home care worker to help look after them.
But what about when the care worker is not there and your elderly family member is on their own? There are steps that you can take to ensure that they are safe when this occurs.
For starters, the first thing you will want to do is ensure that both the bathroom and the kitchen are safety-proofed, as these two spaces are the most prevalent in which injuries in seniors can occur from falls. Falls can happen due to issues such as slippery floors, standing on stools, spills, and overhead reaching.
Here are some useful tips to make note of when safety-proofing your elderly family member's kitchen.
- Make sure all sharp knives and utensils are placed in a secure drawer
- Place all dishes and other utensils that your elderly family member commonly uses in cabinets that are easy for them to reach. This will help prevent them from using items such as stools or chairs, which could make them fall and get injured.
- Remove all cleaning supplies, flammable liquids, and other chemicals from the kitchen
You can also follow these useful tips for safety-proofing your elderly family member's bathroom.
- Perhaps the most important step to take is to place slip-proof mats not only on the bathroom floor, but also in the bathtub/shower. This will further help prevent slips and falls.
- Ensure that all medications are placed in a secure location in the bathroom. Consider coming up with a plan for your elderly family member to take them on their own if that is necessary.
- Install a grab bar by both the toilet and in the bathtub/shower. This will assist your elderly family member in getting back to their feet, as it will give them something to grab onto to assist them.
In regards to other areas of the home, another important tip to consider is making sure all hallways are cleared of things such as rugs and cords, as this will prevent any issues with tripping and falling. It's also important to make sure that these hallways are well-lit with nightlights in case your elderly family member has to get up during the night for any reason, such as going to the bathroom.
You also will want to ensure that the home is equipped with working smoke detectors and that the batteries are regularly changed.
In the event that your elderly family member suffers a fall, another useful tip would be to invest in a system in which emergency response services can be contacted with the push of a button, whether it be located on a wall or a special necklace that the senior can wear.
These are a select few of the many tips that you can make note of when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of an elderly family member who still wishes to live in their own home. (For more information on this matter, contact At Home Health Care)