Caregiving for aging loved ones, for many, comes without warning. One day Mom or Dad is fine, the next, they have suffered a trip or fall or a surgery from which they need help with daily living tasks during recovery. When you’re thrown into this role, there are many steps you will need to take to help Mom and Dad adjust to your role as caregiver.
One of the many things you will need to evaluate is the safety of their home. Most individuals want to remain in their home as long as possible. If the situation allows for it, this is the right time to give your parents’ home a once-over to assure the home is as safe as it can be.
Here are some of the areas in the home you will want to pay special attention to.
- Kitchen emergencies can involve a fall from a ladder while trying to reach an object on a shelf, a burn, a slip or fall because of a spill and others. Make certain the kitchen is as safe as it can be by moving objects to low shelves, moving pots and pans to shelves that are easy to reach without having to stoop and keeping the kitchen floors as slip-free as possible by laying down non slip rugs.
- Pets in the house can lead to an accident. If your parents’ pets are prone to spilling their water or food on the floor, place the food bowls on a mat or in a serving tray to help contain any slip-causing items. Make certain there are arrangements in place to care for the pets if Mom or Dad no longer can.
- Slip or fall hazards in the bathroom are very common. Update the bathroom and install handrails in the tub, consider converting the bathtub to one that is easy to get into and out of. Hand rails by the toilet or even a raised toilet seat can prevent accidents as well. Make certain the bathtub has non slip stickers and that the rugs in the bathroom are non-skid as well.
- Accidents on stairs are a common occurrence. Do what you can to keep Mom and Dad from having to climb stairs. This may mean rearranging their living space to allow them to sleep downstairs rather than having to climb stairs.
- Other trip hazards include rugs that are not secure, electrical cords in walkways, stacks of household goods such as books or magazines and unlit hallways. Address any potential trip or fall hazards and install motion activated lighting to prevent any trips or falls.
Equipping your aging loved ones a home medical alert system also adds to the safety they feel and the peace of mind you have when you’re not there. These devices, with the personal medical wearable device also add to the safety they have while aging in place because if they suffer a medical emergency, emergency assistance is available at the push of a button, day or night.
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