If you have a senior family member or loved one who lives on their own, then you know how important it is to ensure their home is safe and comfortable.
Reducing the risk of falls for seniors is the most important thing we can do as caregivers. The National Council on Aging tells us that every 11 seconds, an older adult experiences a fall that sends them to the hospital.
It’s essential to address safety issues in every room of the house. Here’s a handy checklist you can use to make sure the senior in your life is as safe and secure as possible.
- Remove objects like small tables, baskets, and other potential tripping hazards. Walkways should always be clear.
- Tack down loose rugs or get rugs with anti-slip backing and make sure all area rugs are on pads.
- Make sure all cords are removed from walkways and are routed along walls.
- Clean up any spills as soon as they happen.
Installable Safety Measures
- Install motion-activated lighting and railings at all entryways. Consider installing ramps at the front and back doors, so seniors don’t have to climb steps.
- Add a non-slip mat in all bathtubs or shower stalls.
- Add grab bars near the toilet and in the bath.
- Consider an electric stair lift if your loved one can no longer climb stairs
- Add interior motion lights to commons areas like bathrooms and hallways and other spaces frequented at night.
- Add color striping to any steps or changes in floor heights
- Install GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupters) electrical outlets around the kitchen and bathroom to lower the risk of electrical shock
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in addition to smoke detectors (m)
- Add a personal emergency response system like EasyCall to your loved one’s bedroom or living room
Complete Routine Repairs and Maintenance
- Fix any uneven flooring or carpeting that could lead to falls
- Make sure windows, doors, and screens are all in good working order and are easy to open
- Ensure furniture is in good condition and complete any necessary repairsThis list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a good start. By going through your loved one’s home, room by room, you can identify and address potential safety and make their home safer, more secure, and more comfortable than ever.
As the children of aging parents, it’s often up to us to spot the signs that our elders might need help. Sometimes we can be caught off guard by a sudden decline in our parent’s abilities. One month mom and dad might seem fine and the next you might notice clear signs that something isn’t right.
It’s important to know how to spot subtle signs that something is wrong so you can proactively address a change in health.
Remember, a change in ability doesn’t necessarily mean your parents need assisted living or to move to a nursing home. Often, a few small changes can help your parents live safely and comfortably in their own homes.
Here are ten things to look for that might indicate your parents are ready for help.
– Yard work and basic home maintenance hasn’t been done
– Your parent’s hygiene has declined suddenly
– Groceries are spoiled, and the kitchen is a mess
– The house is disorganized and cluttered
– Things like mail and newspapers are unopened and piling up
– Sudden changes in weight, either gaining or losing
– Financial troubles: late payments, second notices, bounced checks
– Mysterious bruises that your parent doesn’t remember getting
– New dents and scratches on the car can be signs that driving ability is failing
– Anything that seems out of character–you know your parents best!
If you spot one or more of these signs in your parents, it could be an indication that they need help completing everyday daily tasks. Of course, most parents don’t want to place an extra burden on their children. It’s important that you’re prepared for a potentially difficult conversation about care.
EasyCall Can Help Maintain Independence
There’s no question that most seniors want to remain in their homes. Surveys show that up to 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their homes as they age. EasyCall, the personal medical alert system from Advanced Security Systems, can be your partner in helping your parents keep their independence. With EasyCall, help is available 24/7 at the push of a button. Our customized response plan lets you decide who gets notified in the event of an emergency. EasyCall can dispatch fire, ambulance or police in an instant, or call a neighbor, family member or anyone who can help.