One of the biggest fears anyone involved in senior care faces is an injury. Falling down is a not something someone at twenty or thirty or even forty gives much thought to. Even if it happens, it’s rarely a cause for much concern. For someone in their 70s or older, however, falling down can become nothing short of a catastrophe. Bones get more brittle as we age and hip breaks are common. Unfortunately, they can also mean the introduction to a vastly reduced quality of life. If you care about the elderly family member in your life, you owe it to them to make your home (or their home) as safe as possible for them to get around. Here are some things you can do to make a home safe.
Do a Walkthrough
The best way to figure out what you need to do to a home to make it safer for senior care is just a simple walkthrough. Grab a pen and a notepad and do a full tour of the home, taking note of anything that could present a hazard. This means any boxes that have been left out, any cords that could trip up an unsuspecting walker, and anything that might be blocking a pathway. These things are easy to overlook on a daily basis, but they could mean the difference between a safe home and a death trap.
The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. Even a very young person can injure or kill themselves in the bathroom if they aren’t careful. The combination of many hard surfaces, edges, and the presence of water makes it a hazard. While there is nothing you can do to make a bathroom completely safe, there are certainly things you can do to decrease the risks. Put a sticky bathmat in the tub. Consider installing a rail in the shower. You may want to look into a walk-in tub to take away the risk of stepping over the side. Some senior care experts advise paring down the medicine cabinet to only those medications that are needed.
Of course, accidents don’t just happen in the bathroom. Anyone concerned with senior care needs to make sure the whole house is safe. Other things you can do include installing railings in hallways and rooms that make mobility that much easier, putting an emergency contact list by the phone, and installing a stair-lift if you deem it necessary to do so. Of course, this just scratches the surface. The best way to figure out what you need to do is to spend some time observing how your loved one gets around the house and make accommodations that can avoid problems.
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