Caregiver Tips to Make the Home Safe for Aging Parents
Lower the Risk of Injuries and Accidents at Home
Few things have as much potential to suddenly and drastically alter a senior’s mobility, independence, and quality of life as an injury resulting from a fall or other accident around the home. Every year one in four seniors falls, and many experience injuries that could have been avoided.
Hindsight may be 20-20, but why wait until catastrophe strikes to think seriously about home safety? There are many simple things you can do now to lower the risk of an accident occurring. If you are caring for aging parents or other loved ones, you’ll want to pay attention to the following tips.
Tips to Make the Home Safer
In the Kitchen
- Encourage your aging parent to avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while cooking. Many burns are caused when flowing or drapey clothing comes into contact with a hot stove and catches fire.
- Keep heavy and frequently-used items at waist level. Climbing or bending to reach something can lead to loss of balance and falling. Invest in a “grabber” to help retrieve items that are stored out of easy reach.
- Check expiration dates. Failing eyesight can make it more difficult to notice when food has gone bad. Make a habit of cleaning out the refrigerator and the pantry and tossing out anything that shouldn’t be eaten.
In the Bathroom
- Prevent falls in the shower by installing grab bars and non-slip mats. You may also want to consider using a shower stool and a hand-held shower head.
- Use non-skid mats outside the shower to prevent slipping on wet floors.
- Consider a raised toilet seat and grab bars next to the toilet to make it easier to get up and down.
- Adjust your water temperature to 120 degrees to avoid burns, even if the water is accidentally turned all the way up.
Other Areas of the Home
- Light it up! Make sure your home is well lit, especially if you have any stairways. Place night lights in bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, or other rooms your loved one may visit when the house is dark. Midnight snacks or bathroom breaks shouldn’t lead to catastrophe!
- Keep stairwells safe by making sure there are sturdy railings to hold on to. Avoid placing throw rugs at the tops or bottoms of stairs and be careful not to leave clutter laying on the steps.
- Remove or secure scatter rugs. These can be a major tripping hazard. If you choose to keep a few in the home, make sure that they are held in place with a non-slip pad, and be careful to keep edges from flipping up.
- Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Make sure that they will work if needed, and replace the batteries regularly.
- Keep outside entryways free of clutter, and clear snow and ice away from pathways and the driveway.
- Arrange furniture so that it’s easy to walk around.
- Keep the floor free of newspapers, books, shoes, or other clutter. Tuck away telephone and electrical cords so they won’t entangle feet.
Paying attention to home safety is well worth the effort. It’s the best way to avoid an accident that could lead to loss of confidence or independence!
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910.686.7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington, NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!