If you have a family member who is a senior citizen, you need to ensure that this person is not put in danger by the surroundings of their home. Most of us do not think about how many dangers the average home presents to those who have limited mobility, function or mental capacity. As a result, too many seniors get into bad accidents in their own homes each year.
This is a serious issue (that is often underestimated) and to assist you in helping your senior relatives live safely, we have put together a list of things that you can do to create a safe environment in your home.
Insurance is key
We all know that the elderly end up in hospitals and at doctors’ offices in much higher percentages than any other group. Additionally, medical care is very expensive and so making sure that senior citizens have the right medical coverage can make a difference between them getting the care they need or not. Medicare is a health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Contact a Medicare company like HealthMarkets that can help you navigate the process, and present you with the right plans and supplemental plans available. Also, make your senior relatives aware of the types of coverage they have and how to work their way through the process in the event of a medical emergency. In the end, taking this proactive approach will save time, headaches and grief.
Try your best to remove all hazardous objects that can cause a fall
The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of falling and encourage a safe home environment for your dearest elderly is to reduce the chances of falling in their home fall. The following steps will help you to do this.
Remove rugs or any other layouts
The elderly tend to lose their balance and have less control over their movements, which makes them more prone to slipping or having an accident. They tend to have balancing issues that make staying stable when walking difficult. For this reason, you should remove any rugs or carpets that are not secured to the floor. This includes any runners that might lie on top of tile or wood floors.
Donate or discard old furniture
Having heavy and too many furniture pieces tend to block a lot of space and can become a hindrance for elderly residents who are walking around. This prevents them from moving around freely and smoothly. There is a risk that they may collide with any of these objects and can get injured. It’s better to donate or discard these furniture pieces to reduce the risk of falling to a minimum.
Clear away all the piled clutter
This may include books, newspapers, loose clothes, shoes, toys, some stationary, etc. which tend to get in the way of freely moving. You must keep the clutter and mess away on a regular basis in order to facilitate free movement.
Keep the doorways free
If your elders are using a wheelchair to move around in the house, a tight space particularly around the corners and the doorways can create problems and become an obstruction for them to drive their wheelchair freely. Try your best to keep these places free of all the obstacles whatsoever.
Never leave any extension wire stretched on the floor
Some people never care to wrap the extension cords after using them and they keep lying there on the floor, causing the chances of a severe accident to happen. With the probable weak eyesight, the elderly may fall after getting entangled with these stray cords. Be very careful in collecting all the cords from the floor just after they have been used.
Wear non-slip footwear
Slippery footwear is a great risk for elderly people to wear while moving around in the house. It may cause them to slip or skid while walking. So, see to it that they always wear non-slip footwear so that their grip on the different floors may always remain tight.
Make sure that the floors remain non-slippery
You should also make sure that any floors in their home that are slippery or get that way if they are wet are either replaced or covered with a non-slip surface. Taking these precautions can prevent your loved ones from taking a nasty fall in their home.
Consider a stair-lift
As we get older, a major challenge is climbing up and down the stairs in a home. You’re your senior relative live in a home with multiple floors? If so, you should consider moving the senior to the first floor or in an area that does not require stair access. If the senior cannot be moved, another option is to purchase a stair-lift. Stair-lifts are motorized chairs that attach to a staircase. The senior sits in the chair and straps in and is taken safely from one floor in the home to another. The ride is gentle and smooth and the chair even assists the senior to stand when the ride is finished.
Stair-lifts require installation and can be pricy, so shop around for a reputable dealer who offers great products and a good warranty.
Ensure a safe bathroom
The riskiest place in a house for the elderly is a bathroom. This must be quite safe and sound for them to use without any fear in mind. You can make it so if you take the following precautionary measures.
- Provide grab bars in the showering area and near the toilet.
- Just to ensure avoiding any accidental burns, you must set the thermostat of the water heater within a range from 115* F to 120* F.
- The bathtub may cause the elderly ones to slip if there are no rubber mats. Place them readily over there to avoid any slip.
- A walk-in model of the bathtub must be replaced with the original non-walk-in style to ensure more safety.
- Better place a bathing chair in the tub so that the elderly may sit comfortably and enjoy themselves of taking bath conveniently.
- It will be a great service if you fix a hand-held showerhead to facilitate the senior bather to clean hard-to-reach places in particular.
- The floor of the bath must never be wet or slippery.
- Placing a nightlight inside the bathroom and also on the route to the bathroom will be of great help in finding the way and using it even for many a time overnight.
Be diligent and proactive to make sure that your senior relative is safe in their own home.