Aging in place gives seniors an unparalleled sense of freedom, but there are some risks older adults and their caregivers need to address. Home-related accidents can result in a variety of injuries, and recovering from sprains and broken bones becomes very difficult with age. These seven tips can help you increase the safety of your loved one’s home without making any major structural changes.
1. Increase the Lighting
Improper lighting is a serious risk for seniors who are experiencing any type of vision loss. All bulbs that are dim or burned out should be replaced with modern LED bulbs that are brighter and give off less heat. You might also need to invest in automated safety lights that turn on as soon as your loved one walks into a room.
Safety-proofing a senior’s house while managing other caregiving duties can be overwhelming. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Update the Fire and Smoke Detectors
All fire alarms and smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and replaced every 10 years. Older adults generally need assistance testing them and changing the batteries. If your loved one has impaired hearing, install detectors with strobe lights and low-frequency alerts.
3. Reorganize the Kitchen
Many seniors have mobility or balance issues that prevent them from reaching up or bending over. Reorganizing the kitchen so the items they use the most are located between waist and shoulder height could prevent future accidents. Seniors who enjoy cooking should also have a comfortable place to sit while they prepare snacks and meals.
Some seniors need help with cooking and managing other day-to-day activities. Des Moines respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
4. Tape Down the Rugs
Rugs can cushion footsteps and provide additional stability, but they must be securely fastened to the floor. Quite a few products can be used to keep rugs flat and secure, including double-sided carpet tape, Velcro strips, and carpet pins. Rugs that bunch up or slide around should be replaced with nonslip runners and mats.
5. Install Grab Bars Where Needed
Many seniors face difficulty with balance. Using a cane or walker is one option, but these devices can be a hassle when moving around the home. Installing a few grab bars near toilets, bathtubs, and stairs is an affordable and effective way to increase a senior’s stability.
6. Create an Emergency Kit
Every home should have a comprehensive emergency kit. In addition to food and water, seniors should keep a small supply of any medications they are taking as well. You can also store flashlights with fresh batteries in every room in case the electricity goes out.
7. Use a Monitored Alarm System
No matter what steps you take to protect your loved one, accidents can still happen at any time. Medical alert devices and monitored alarm systems give seniors the ability to quickly call close family members or emergency services when an accident takes place. Some of these systems are designed to monitor the entire house with various cameras and alarms, while others are small devices that can be worn around the neck.
For many seniors in Des Moines, IA, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To learn about our comprehensive, high-quality senior care plans, give us a call at (515) 264-2438 today.