A Home Safety Guide for Elderly Patients
The growing senior population presents a number of opportunity and challenges for various health sectors. For those choosing to provide care for their elderly loved ones at home, there are number of things you need to prepare and be prepared for to ensure their safety and security at all times. You can help make your home a haven for your senior family members by following these tips:
Home Safety Tips for the Elderly
1. Maintain proper housekeeping
A clean, well-maintained environment is essential when providing proper home care. Oftentimes, people neglect the need to clean, vacuum, dust, and take away trash. But as tedious as regular cleaning routines can be, it plays a crucial role in the mental and physical development of every member in the household.
Other than keeping the house germ-free, frequent cleaning allows easy breathing. As a result, you get to keep your elderly patients motivated to exercise and be proactive throughout the day. So see to it that the rooms are dusted and cleaned regularly. Linens must also be changed at a minimum of once per week to prevent dust and mold allergies.
2. ‘Senior-proof’ your home
According to an alarming census, as many as 7,000 elderly deaths are caused, in one way or another, by home-related accidents. Millions more are said to have sustained injury at their own homes. Even under the watchful eye of caregivers, accidents such as falls, burns, and drowning may occur.
To prevent this altogether, primary caregivers must consider senior-proofing the home. Below are some tips to follow.
1. Install grab bars on bathrooms and other areas of the home
2. Remove rugs
3. Install electric chair lifts on staircases
4. Replace regular bathtubs and showers with walk-in tubs/showers
5. Install ramps and railings
6. Keep house well-lighted
7. Program emergency on home phones
8. Non-slip rubber mats and adhesive strips must be fastened on the floor of the shower
3. Avoid having electrical wires hanging around
Electrical wires are definitely a cause of concern, especially when they happen to be connected to outlets. Make it a point to keep cords bound together at all times. You’ll need to arrange the furniture in a way that will not obstruct the pathway seniors usually take.
4. Don’t let them lose their way with an elderly tracker
Wandering is common among elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Even the slightest disorientation caused by the disease can make the most familiar surroundings seem unfamiliar to seniors. Wandering cases may ultimately lead to life-threatening situations.
But thanks to advancements in technology and health care, there are several options out there to keep your elderly loved ones out of harm’s way. Senior citizen–friendly devices such as Trackimo offer great options for families trying to reduce the risk of wandering. In the event that an elderly patient does wander away from home, Trackimo makes locating them faster and easier with the help of GPS tracking technology that is easily accessible through an app installed in your smartphone.
5. Prevent fire at elderly homes
Fire is one of the biggest risks when it comes to living with the elderly. Most residential fires are caused by forgetfulness of senior citizens, so it is up to you to prevent that from happening. Basic fire safety tips such as using the appropriate wattages for light fixtures, resorting to extension cords for temporary fixes only, and avoiding frayed cords should be implemented all year ‘round.
Another item that should be present at elderly homes are fire alarms. Install a smoke alarm in each of the home’s bedrooms and the kitchen. Batteries must be checked frequently and do schedule a six-month replacement regardless if the device is in need of repairs or not.
Providing home care for the elderly can be a challenge, so never hesitate to get support from fellow caregivers. Get opinion on what worked, what they recommend, and what to avoid, and decide if this can be applied to your own home care system.