Hello readers, I hope you’re enjoying reading about the various topics that we cover here. In the last blog, we spoke about safety tips for your kids; you can read them here if you’ve missed them. Today we will be talking about how you can make your place a safe place for our old-aged parents and/or grandparents.
Let me ask you all a question, Is an aging parent living at home a good thing?
Well, I know many of you may agree and will not.
But I would say it depends. It depends on whether our home provides them the comfort, familiarity, and feeling of continued independence and security.
I know there are people who will want to debate this with me – nevertheless, I’d say it depends.
So, having an elderly person in our house makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, not necessarily. It totally depends on whether the home environment is safe and easily accessible to them. This also is an essential factor.
Let us get some help with the following point to decide the same, or if we would make some change when it comes to their safety.
Here are the 10 safety tips for seniors in the house.
Remove fall hazards
Falls are the major cause of injury for the elderly. To reduce the fall risk and take care of house safety for seniors, one of the important things we should consider is to make home fall-risk-free. One can do the same by considering the following points.
- Remove throw rugs
- Clean up piled clutter
- Get rid of old furniture; either sell it, donate it or throw it away.
- Avoid using of extension cord on the floor
- Make sure they use slip-on when they are inside to prevent any slip & fall case
Protection against Fire
Keeping the home safe for the elderly also means keeping it fire safe. Removing fire hazards from the home is a better option.
- Make sure you change the batteries in smoke detectors on a regular basis
- Check the electric cords of all the appliances at your place. We do not want them to be electrocuted, do we?
- Make sure you keep and/or light candles in an emergency at a place which don’t serve a possible fire threat when left burning.
- Remind the seniors to stay low while exiting from the house if there’s a fire. The smoke being lighter than air tends to float above the ground level.
Ensure a Safe Bathroom
Bathrooms can be a nightmare if anyone slips inside. Make sure you’ve taken care of possible threats, and to avoid such mishaps do the following:
- Install the grab bars in the shower & beside the toilet
- You can put rubber mats in the bath area to avoid slipping
- Set the temperature of the water heater no higher than 120o F to avoid accidental burns
- Better to install a hand-held shower – this can be easier to use.
- Try replacing the toilet seat with a raised toilet seat with handlebars. The preferred height should be between 17 – 19 inches. This helps them to easily sit and stand.
- If any of your parents are suffering from dementia, it is better to remove the bathroom mirrors if you have any. Seeing an unfamiliar face staring at them can be startling.
Keeping numbers handy
If your mom or dad owns a cell phone, the best you can do is to check if they have any difficulty in making calls. If not that’s a plus point. Consider handing them the basics of models with a zoomed-in display which can help them in dialing easily.
In a panicky situation, we tend to forget the emergency numbers. It is better to keep these numbers noted down in large in the place they usually keep their phones.
Make sure that you have the following list ready for them:
- Emergency contacts (family & friends)
- Family doctor’s number
Assess the lights installed
Aging eyes don’t always work as they used to. They may completely avoid darkened areas at home.
- Make sure you replace any fused-out bulbs
- Install motion detection lightning
- Test all the light by standing at a corner and looking across the room. If you’re able to see the whole path you need to go, it’s good. Or simply change it.
Remain safe in the house
A common-sense safety measure is the best to avoid any unwanted threats. Being a senior they tempt to talk with people be it known or unknown. And you definitely don’t want any unknown person barging into your home and take them hostage (Worst scenario).
Here are some things you can remind them to take care of.
- Install a peephole at the front door (even if you have a safety door), it’s better to be safe.
- Always keep the doors and windows locked
- Do not agree to any of the telephone offers.
- Don’t share your financial information over the phone
- Do not open doors to a stranger
- Keep them up-to-date with the scams happening around so they can take of themselves if the situation ever occurs
Check-in with them frequently
If you are not living with them, make sure you be in contact with them on a regular basis. Be in touch with your parents, their neighbors, their doctors to see if everything’s alright.
These were a few things we, as a responsible son/daughter, should look after. Keeping them and the place they live in safety is and always should be the first priority.
Let’s meet in the next blog.
In the meantime, you can reflect on the points and make a checklist for your elders to be safe.