When you have a loved one coming home to live with you, or you are helping prepare their home when returning from a hospital or rehab stay, you need to ensure that they come home to a safe environment. While we have covered a few of these tips in the past, they are worth reiterating due to their importance for the safety of your loved one.
Mobility can be one of the largest issues facing the elderly, and it’s important that the home is set up so that walking is as safe and easy as possible.
- Make sure walkways throughout the home are clear and wide.
- If there aren’t handrails on both sides of a stairway, make sure to have them installed.
- Tripping hazards should be removed. This includes throw rugs, electrical cords, and even furniture. A table or ottoman can easily be a dangerous obstacle for an elderly person, and electrical cords should be tucked away out of tripping distance.
Bathroom visits can also present challenges for the elderly. Floors can be slippery or wet, and the person may have difficulty sitting or standing unassisted. Take special precautions to make the bathroom friendly to an elderly user.
- Make sure you have grab bars for showers or tubs.
- Consider a toilet surround to help with getting up and down, especially if a grab bar is not an option.
- Place something on the floor to make it non-skid, but be careful if considering rug. It can be a tripping hazard. If that doesn’t seem like a good choice, you can opt for anti-skid scuba socks for your loved one, especially for bathing.
Common living areas should be set up so as to minimize the movement and effort of your loved one. These are some useful tips for creating an elder-friendly living space.
- Be sure remotes for televisions and other often-used items are going to be within reach of your loved one.
- Night lights are important so that your loved one can see when it’s dark. They may get more disoriented, so seeing is more important than before.
- Make a printout or handwritten sheet with large letters spelling out emergency numbers for your loved one to have by the phone.
- Another sheet with medications, family member contacts, and doctor’s information is important to have on-hand in case of an emergency situation.
If you have an elderly loved one living at home, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of falls or injuries. Implementing the above tips will ensure your loved one comes home to a safe and comfortable place. For additional information on preventing senior falls, check out our handout and our resource page.
David York Home Healthcare Agency now offers elderproofing services from our Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) professional. Call for a free consultation and estimate.
For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.