How to Keep a Senior Loved One Safe

Senior Loved One

As our loved ones get older, they’re less able to take care of themselves which means you have to do everything you can to help keep them safe. Such a responsibility is complicated further if they have a chronic health condition. Alongside many other hazards, there will be health concerns and issues relating to their medication. In-home care services could be helpful as well as the possibility of medical alert devices.

Keep reading for more ideas on how to keep your loved one safe in their own home.

Install Better Lighting

To reduce the risk of falling, make sure all areas of your loved one’s home are adequately lit. This might mean installing additional lighting in corridors, on stairs, and where a passageway turns. 

Make sure there is a lamp next to your loved one’s bed, in case they need to get up during the night. Installing a nightlight will also make it easier for them to get to the bathroom in the dark.  

Check the Furniture and Flooring

Over the years, a person’s home becomes very cluttered. This makes it difficult for a senior loved one to get around. If they’re not very mobile, move important items close so that they’re easy to reach. 

Rearrange the furniture so that your loved one has lots of space to walk around comfortably. Check that the floors in every room aren’t slippery. Rugs and carpets must be flat and have no edges or corners that could be tripped over. Anti-slip tape on the rugs may be necessary and in the kitchen and bathroom, anti-slip mats will help if the floor is wet. 

If there are glass tables and countertops with sharp corners, install protectors.

Your elderly loved one might not be able to clean as often and as thoroughly as they used to. Germs, dust, and grime are therefore more likely to accumulate around their home and increase the risk of sickness. If you don’t have the time to help them keep their home clean, consider hiring a residential cleaning company to make routine cleaning visits. 

Make the Kitchen Safe

There is always the risk of a fire in the home, no matter how careful your loved one might be. Install fire and smoke detectors on every floor of their home and check the batteries regularly. 

You might want to consider a cooker and oven that automatically turns itself off when it’s not been used for a certain period. 

Check on the layout of the kitchen and if necessary, move frequently used items so that they’re easy to reach. 

Organize a Medical-Response System

A medical alert device is something your loved one wears at all times. It is for them to use in an emergency. All they’ve got to do is press a button on the device and the appropriate emergency service will receive an alert. 

Preventing Accidents in the Toilet and Bathroom

The toilet and bathroom can be a very dangerous place for a senior. You can help them by adding support bars in the shower or bath or next to the toilet. If you think it’ll help, you do have the option of installing a special shower chair. 

Anti-slip mats should be placed around the sink and shower and in the bath. 

If your loved one struggles to get up and down easily, you might want to consider installing an elevated toilet seat. 

Make a Record of Emergency Numbers

If your loved one needs to contact someone in an emergency, it helps if all the important telephone numbers are in one place. Create a list that’s simple and easy to read and make sure it’s within easy reach. The list should include telephone numbers of relatives, emergency services, and neighbors. 

Make Sure They’re Safe Driving

As a person gets older, their ability to drive changes. Reaction times get slower, and hearing and vision may become impaired. Osteoarthritis of the spine could make turning the head difficult and painful. 

Make sure your loved ones driving skills are up to scratch by occasionally riding along with them in the car. If you think their driving is unsafe, encourage them to give up their license and make alternative transport arrangements.  

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

The older generation is very proud and will often avoid asking for help because they don’t want to be a burden. They might also be scared about being forced to leave their home. Just because they’re not asking for help, don’t assume they’re doing OK. The more open the communication is between you and your loved one, the more likely it is they’ll tell you when there’s a problem.

There are lots of things to consider when you’re making a loved one’s home safer for them. Use the list above for guidance, and you can be certain you’re doing everything you can to keep your loved ones safe.  

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