Making Home Safer for Your Elderly Parents
When it comes to good care for the elderly, you can never be too careful. So, take everything into consideration, including the home in which your senior parents live. Staying safe starts inside the home because the residence in which an older adult life could present a myriad of challenges.
Most elderly individuals would prefer to remain in their homes and not be forced to move into an assisted living facility. But sometimes that move can’t be avoided if the home is unsafe for them. You can take steps towards making the home safer just by identifying the threats that might be present and reducing their ability to cause your elderly parents any harm.
Potential for Injury
Studies have determined that seniors who age in place are more likely to have positive health outcomes. Aging in place is becoming a lot more integral to the well-being of the elderly, however, if a senior is not able to live at home safely then there may be no other option but the alternative. While it’s true you can find any number of reliable home care services in Asheville, this may still not be sufficient for the health and safety of your elderly parents.
Taking steps to make the home safer can be valuable for allowing your parents to age in place. But you need to be diligent about finding the hazards that might exist in the home at the moment. These hazards carry a high risk of injury due to a slip and fall incident. This is the most common source of injuries in the elderly and they can come about due to poor visibility or an obstructed pathway. But eliminating these problems will be vital for ensuring your parents are living in a senior-friendly household.
Identifying the Dangers
The first thing to consider is if the home is properly lit. Many elderly adults already struggle with poor eyesight and when a room, hallway, or stairwell is lacking in light that can just end up making an already bad situation even worse. When an elderly adult is unable to see where he or she is going, this increases the chances of that person falling down and sustaining a serious, possible life-threatening injury.
So, you can start walking around the house to determine if the lights are bright enough in the areas where it’s most necessary. Check to see if bulbs that are currently installed have enough wattage to sufficiently allow your elderly parents to see. You should also check to see if any light bulbs have burned out. If so, replace them immediately.
Next, walk around the house looking for any obstacles or obstructions that might make mobility difficult for your parents. Investigate every room and hallway, find any furniture that might be partially blocking the entrance into a room. Maybe something is jutting out into a hallway too far.
Is the current placement of your parents’ furniture problematic in that it forces them to make any unnatural or sudden movements that could jeopardize their balance. These obstacles must be removed, even if that means moving some pieces of furniture out of the rooms in which they are currently located or out of the home entirely.
Next, check for any areas where a senior could trip and fall over something they may not see. This includes loose corners of rugs or carpets. Wires and cords from lamps and electrical devices should also be secured and taken out of any pathways in the house. An elderly adult who gets tripped up by an unseen cord or cable could take a bad fall.
The bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathroom have been shown to present the greatest risk to the health and well-being of a senior adult. That’s because these rooms can have slick surfaces that make it easy to take a bad step and slip by mistake. These rooms also contain appliances and fixtures that generate heat and water, both of which could do damage to the home and injure an elderly adult.
So, you may want to walk your elderly parents through these rooms and ensure they are knowledgeable about the risks that come from these particular rooms and work with them to minimize the potential for injury by taking the proper safety precautions. These may include rubber mats to help seniors maintain balance and avoid the slippery surfaces of linoleum or tile that are often installed in these rooms.
It’s up to you to prevent a tragedy from occurring as your parents may not be aware of the pitfalls that exist in their home at the present time.