Older adults need to enjoy the comfort of their homes around their loved ones and with Private Duty Home Care Services if required. However, according to reports every year many senior citizens get injured in or around their homes. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, an average of 1.4 million people who are 65 years of age or older are treated in hospitals each year for injuries sustained at home.
The main cause of injuries to older adults can be found in their residence. Many of these result from hazards that are easy to overlook but also easy to fix. Apart from falling, they are also at risk of dying in a house fire.
That being said, you can address various safety considerations to facilitate this issue without risking their safety or health. By identifying these hazards and taking the necessary steps to correct them, you can prevent injuries to yourself or older adults at your home.
Find below some of the considerations that older people or their family members should consider when it comes to safety at home.
Mobility can become limited with age, which is why it requires adaptations to the living environment. According to Private Duty Home Care Services, an older person with mobility problems may require specialist equipment, such as:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Sturdy Handrails
- Reachers (pincher-like devices to help people pick up objects)
- Toilet seat riser
- Bath bench
- Hand-held shower nozzle
- Single-lever taps
- Button loopers and zipper pulls for dressing.
Moreover, the following tips can also ensure easy mobility.
- Repair holes in lawn and cracks in pavements.
- Keep pavements and entrances clear of ice and snow.
- Remove door lock to ensure access in an emergency.
- Have light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Mark the top and bottom steps of the stairs with bright tape or paint.
- Store frequently used items on accessible shelves.
Falls are one of the biggest concerns when it comes to older adults. However, there are necessary precautions that anyone can take to reduce the risk of falls at home in case there is no Light Housekeeping for Seniors.
- Secure any uneven or loose rugs and carpets.
- Remove rugs without a slip-resistant backing and extension cords.
- Secure all carpet edges.
- Remove clutter and trip hazards from home.
- Wipe up floor spills, including minor ones, immediately.
- Never use floor wax as it will make the floor more slippery.
- Make sure walking surfaces are flat, slip-resistant, free of objects, and in good condition to prevent falls.
- Fit stairs with sturdy banisters/handrails on each side.
- Consider purchasing a low bed and fitting bedrails.
- Ensure shoes are well-fitted.
- Avoid wearing stockings or shoes without non-slip soles and low or no heels at all.
- Ensure everyday items are within easy reach and are not stored in high cupboards or shelves.
- Remove cables and wires from any areas where they could lead to a fall.
- Make sure there is adequate lighting inside and outside of your home.
- Install grab bars in tub/shower and by the toilet.
- Use a rubber mat in the tub/shower.
In case a fire occurs, an older person without a Home Care Assistance Plantation or a family member, another person may struggle to exit the house immediately. Ensure the following are fitted as a minimum:
- Install a panic alarm or other easy to use emergency response system that enables your relative to summon help
- Install fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the home.
- Install a fire extinguisher and keep a blanket in your kitchen in case of emergency.
- Use an electric induction hob (not gas).
- Mark stove controls so that the “on-off” settings are clear.
- Set your water heaters to no more than 120 degrees to prevent burns.
- Get fuel-burning appliances, such as chimneys and furnaces, inspected yearly by a professional to ensure they are safe to use.
- Never leave candles, hot plates, or other potential fire sources unattended. They should be located away from flammable materials such as furniture, blankets, and curtains.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters in potentially damp locations such as the basement, kitchen, bathroom, and the house’s exterior to protect against electrocution.
Many older adults struggle with their vision. For this reason, a well-planned home should include:
- Paste instructions and warnings printed in a large font at various parts of the house.
- Install wide-angle peepholes on outside doors.
- Install plenty of good quality non-glare lighting.
- Eliminate glare with window shades.
- Use plain carpets without busy, potentially confusing patterns.
- Keep touch-tone telephones with large numbers.
- Place night lights in the hall, bedroom, and bathrooms
- Install adequate lighting for walkways.
- Have light switches accessible at room entrances.
Even though you should never leave an older adult alone at home, having an emergency plan or Private Duty Home Care Services in place will help them escape and keep them well prepared for any unforeseen situation. You can also constantly keep telling them any point from the checklist so that it gets imprinted in their brain.
However, preparing the home of an elderly relative for improved safety can be difficult and may require specialist knowledge. Live-in carers from Davidshield Home Care receive specialist training to equip them with this knowledge. They will be able to make a relevant and detailed checklist to keep your loved one safe. With the Home Care Assistance Plantation, there will be someone on hand 24/7 to monitor their wellbeing and safety.
Chaya Flaxman is the founder of Davidshield Home Care, home health agency Broward County helping people improve health, maintain independence, and live a better life. Davidshield Home Care is providing services like home care for dementia patients, companionship care services etc to seniors in the Plantation, Florida.