As a parent, one of the main questions you ask is, “are my children safe?” Then, as we age, and we become caregivers for our parents, our focus shifts on keeping them safe and helping them to age in place. It’s a never-ending cycle of caring for and being concerned about the safety of those we love most.
What are some tips you can use for keeping both your children, and your aging loved ones safe?
Here are some tips from LifeFone:
- In the kitchen, make certain there is a working fire extinguisher. These should be inspected annually and both your children and your aging parents should know how to operate it in the case of an emergency.
- Look around the living areas and look for trip and fall hazards. Make certain there are no electrical cords under rugs. Install motion sensor operated lights so when your children or parents walk down an unlit hallway, it illuminates automatically providing a soft light making the passage safer. The same is true for stairways in the home. Don’t leave items on the stairways and make certain the stairways are well-lit.
- In the bathroom, make sure there are non-skid rugs in place. If mobility is an issue, have grab bars installed to make getting into and out of the tub or shower easier and safer. Check the medicine cabinet and properly dispose of expired medications or those no longer being taken. Keep all electrical items away from the bathtub, sink and toilet.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the home. Check that they are in operational order and that the batteries are still good. Detectors should be installed at the doorways of bedrooms and in other locations throughout the house. Ask your local fire department for suggestions on the best placement of these devices.
- Personal safety devices such as emergency medical alert systems are ideal for keeping children and aging adults safe at home. Children should understand that the devices should only be used in the event of an emergency and as a parent you should explain the importance of when, and when not to, use the device. For an aging adult, a medical alert device can provide peace of mind to you, as a caregiver, and to your aging loved one because they will know they have access to trained professionals who can contact emergency medical personnel on their behalf if they suffer a trip or fall or a medical emergency.
- Latchkey kids, babysitters and parents can also benefit from LifeFone’s Mobile Apps. The Family Guard app allows you the ability to monitor real-time locations for up to three family members and provides a personal panic button. Parents will feel more confident knowing that their children have an extra measure of safety and will also allow them to keep track of them when out.
Home and personal safety should be an ongoing concern and you should give your house and your aging family members’ homes a quick once over at least once a month after you’ve taken the steps to make it as safe as possible.
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