Are you a concerned son or daughter with aging parents? Are you worried about their safety at home? You’re not alone. Millions of families are dealing with this issue every day. It can be hard to keep them safe when living in their own home.
There are a number of reasons why seniors fall. Many of these falls are caused by poor lighting, tripping hazards such as rugs or clutter on the floor, or slippery surfaces due to water spillage or ice. Sometimes, it isn’t the senior’s fault at all but rather the negligence of someone else.
If your elderly parent has fallen in their home or elsewhere and sustained an injury, such as a broken bone, you may have cause for legal action against the party that was responsible for the hazard. You should contact the best slip and fall attorneys right away to discuss your case and find out what steps you need to take next.
But there are things you can do to help prevent accidents in your senior parents’ home.
This article will delve deeper into ways that you can prevent accidents from occurring in your senior parents’ house.
Get a Medical Alert System
Getting life alert systems is a great way to keep your senior parents safe. It’s a small device that they wear around their neck or on their wrist, and it lets them speak with someone if they have any trouble getting up or managing another task that requires assistance. They can simply press the button on the device, and help will come right away.
Check the Home’s Navigation
One of the most important things you can do is make sure that your senior parents’ home is safe for them to be in. If it isn’t, they shouldn’t be living there. An older adult with some health problems will probably have an even more difficult time getting around in an unsafe home.
There are a few key things you need to think about when it comes to the safety of their home:
- Think of space: Is there space for your senior parents to navigate? If they have trouble walking and moving around, will they be able to get from one room to another without bumping into things or tripping on things?
- Safety on the stairs: Think about the stairs if they’ll be living on a second or third floor. Are there railings and banisters up and down? If not, you should probably reconsider. If your loved one is unsteady on their feet, taking the stairs could lead to a fall.
- Trips and falls: Look for tripping hazards, such as loose rugs or clutter. Are there any areas where your parents would be at risk of falling?
- Check for electrical outlets and cords: Ensure that electrical outlets and cords aren’t covered by furniture or tablecloths. Your parents should be able to plug in their medical equipment easily without having to move a bunch of things around. You don’t want them to have to crawl under a table or chair to plug things in.
Consider the Home’s Heating and Cooling Systems
This may seem like an odd thing to list as one of the ways you can prevent accidents, but it’s important. Many accidents happen because people are trying to keep themselves warm in the winter by wearing too many layers of clothing. Or they’re trying to cool their homes in the summer with an air conditioner that isn’t working properly, and it’s too hot for them to be comfortable.
If you want to keep your senior parents safe, you should try your best to make sure their home is well heated or cooled. If you decide to use a space heater, make sure they know how to use it correctly. And never leave them unsupervised if they’re using it.
If you think that the air conditioner needs to be replaced, go ahead and do so. Also, look at their thermostat settings carefully. Make sure that they aren’t in a setting that will make the house too cold (or too hot) for them.
Make the Home Wheelchair Accessible (If Needed)
You may want to consider ways you can make your loved one’s home wheelchair friendly, especially if they’re in a wheelchair themselves or if they’ll be using one soon after moving into a new place. If you make the changes when your parents move in, they’ll be able to use their wheelchair more quickly if and when they become unable to walk independently.
Protect Them from Tripping Hazards
You may think that making a senior home safer would mean removing everything that could cause them to trip or fall. This isn’t the case, though. While you should remove some things, such as loose rugs or clutter, there are other things that are just fine for your loved ones to have in their home if they need them.
If a senior citizen trips, it can lead to dangerous injuries. You are looking at fractures, muscle tears, hip displacements and busted knee caps. If they fall, you will start asking yourself the question when do you need a knee replacement. The answer to which would be as soon as possible. Make sure that you are making your home as safe as possible for them.
For example, if your senior parents need glasses but can’t see well, you probably don’t want to make their home completely free of small knickknacks or furniture that would only be a danger if they bumped into them. Instead, try to clear away any clutter and move things around so there aren’t any tripping hazards in the way.
Get them a Cell Phone
If they need help in an emergency, you want them to be able to get in touch with someone. Luckily, most people have cell phones these days. So if your parents aren’t familiar with their phone and don’t know how to use it or what number to call in case of an emergency, help them get comfortable with it so they can call for help if needed.
Don’t Leave Your Senior Parents Alone for Long Periods
Even though you want to leave them on their own sometimes, you need to ensure that there are no long periods where they’re left completely unsupervised. This is the best way to prevent accidents from happening.
The chances of your parents getting hurt go up a lot if you leave them alone for an extended period.
So, do whatever you can to make sure that there’s always someone with them at home when they aren’t going out somewhere. You can have a friend or family member stop by and help them with tasks that they need assistance with. If you can’t find anyone to do this, get a caregiver for them instead.
Keep Things Where They Should Be At All Times
You may want your parent’s home to look completely different than it did when they were younger. But if you do this, they may not recognize it when they come back after being gone for a while. And this can be dangerous because it’s then harder for them to find things they need, such as medicine or the phone number of someone who could help them in an emergency.
If you want to keep their home the same, then try to keep things in the same place as they were before they left. If their favorite chair is still in the living room even though you’ve repainted it, they’ll know where to go to sit down if they need a break. This can make them more comfortable at home even though you changed some things.
Keep Your Parents Active and Involved
This is an excellent way to keep them on their feet without making it feel like too much extra work for them. For example, they can help you by picking up clothes or folding laundry when they come across something that needs to be done. If it feels less like they’re doing something to help you and more like they’re doing it on their own, this is a good tactic.
In summary, there are a few ways to make your senior parents’ home as safe as possible. It’s best to have some things that they need so they can do everyday tasks on their own without too much trouble. This will allow them to keep up with as much as possible before it becomes difficult for them to get around at all. And having someone with them at all times is the best way to prevent accidents from happening.