Home Safety Tips For Seniors
May 05 2020
Home Safety Tips For Seniors
Older people are at risk due to their deteriorating physical, mental, and emotional state. It is imperative to ensure the safety of older people at home, as the vast majority of accidents occur there. Seniors may become a victim of a fire, a fall, or taking the wrong medicine. To prevent such misfortunes, relatives, and health care workers need to be especially careful with golden-agers and try to ensure their safety at all times.
Best Home Safety Tips For Seniors
Sometimes, it may seem to us that being at home guarantees the safety of older people. However, it depends. The level of security at home should be increased if the person you care about:
- Hardly moves without assistance
- Has difficulty maintaining balance and coordination
- Has vision problems
- Suffers from dementia, confusion, or has other mental disorders
- Needs hospitalization, but prefers to stay in a familiar setting
The best way to increase personal safety and the safety of others is not to create extreme situations, and if they arise, to counteract them effectively. It is essential to inspect your loved one’s home and find anything that could be dangerous. Only then can you can make the necessary changes to prevent accidents. You can also use the tips below to make your home safer. Listed safety tips can be applied by home health care workers, too.
Adequate Lighting Level
Be sure to check that there is good lighting in all areas of the home. Install additional lamps on the stairs, in the corridors, and on bends in the aisles. Put the lamp next to your loved one’s bed. Add a nightlight to make it easier to get to the toilet at night.
Furniture And Flooring
The risk of falling is high enough because, in modern apartments, the floors are varnished, the stairs are shaky, the legs of the chairs slide, the stools are unstable, and the rugs slide on the floor. Safety measures for the elderly depend on such details. Refuse to wax the floor to prevent falling.
If you spill tea, coffee, or water on the floor, then you must immediately wipe everything. Do not allow family members to throw toys and other objects on the floor, because a person can stumble over them.
Make sure that the carpet is snug against the floor. Get rid of steep and slippery rugs or use a non-slip coating. Also, make sure seniors descend the stairs slowly, not in a hurry. Do not let an older person go up and down the stairs with packages.
The furniture must be stable and reliable, and the stools should stand at some distance from the windows. Help an older adult with the replacement of curtains, washing windows, and other household chores to lower the risk of falling. Move objects to make them easier to reach. Place the furniture so that the room has enough space for movement. Bathroom rugs and carpets should be flat without corners and edges that you can trip over.
If necessary, install protection on the sharp corners of glass tables or countertops. Check the organization of space in the kitchen: store utensils, glass, and other frequently used items in convenient and accessible drawers.
Food And Drink
Occasionally, when older people eat, food enters the respiratory tract. As a result, an older person suffers instant asphyxiation, or, after a few days, the inflammatory process in the lungs begins. A chicken or fishbone is enough for a tragic ending. For safety reasons, we recommend that you do not talk while chewing food. Also, learn first aid tricks such as the Heimlich maneuver.
If the senior overcomes a cough, then this indicates that he or she can cope with the situation. The same goes if a pensioner visits the pool. If drops of water get into the trachea, then the older person might panic. Sometimes, the loss of self-control leads to a person drowning.
Some detergents and cleaners are very toxic, and the most dangerous of them are stain removers, bleaches, and plumbing fluids. Sometimes poisoning occurs after an elderly person simply inhales or takes a toxic substance inside. Allocate storage space for cleaning products in your home. Do not store detergents in empty food packaging.
Make sure that every product in the house has an original package and a readable label. Also, poisoning can occur for other reasons, such as the use of insect persecution products, or touching rodent poison.
Organization Of A Medical Care Call System
Consider using a medical call device: you can buy an alarm that your loved one will carry. He or she will simply press a button on the device to call the corresponding service. Make an easy-to-read list with significant numbers and keep it handy. We advise you to include the numbers of other relatives, neighbors, and emergency services.
Install handrails wherever the person needs them: in the shower, in the bathroom, or next to the toilet. Consider installing the nozzle on the toilet seat. It will be easier for older people to sit on the toilet and get up from it. Also, a seat with an electric lift is considered very comfortable.
It is essential to change a regular bath mat with an anti-slip option. If you think it’s necessary, install a chair in the shower.
Fire Safety Tips
Always remember the risk of fire at home. Here is a list of fire safety tips for an elderly person’s house:
- Put a total ban on smoking, because this is the most common cause of the fire. Smoking in bed, and indeed in a living room, is hazardous. If you smoke, do it only in a clear state of mind. Otherwise, the safety of older people will be in jeopardy. Remember that the safety of older people is your responsibility. Be extremely alert and careful. Try to put out cigarette butts completely and not place an ashtray on the edge of the table or the armrests.
- Install fire and smoke detectors. Choose one with a loud signal. Regularly check the batteries inside the detector.
- Often fires occur during cooking. Consider installing a hub and an oven with an automatic shut-off function. Also, you need to remember that a working stove should always be supervised.
- Repair all electrical appliances. Do not use faulty equipment.
- Get rid of unnecessary things respectfully. The presence of a large number of old items, furniture, clothes, books, and papers makes it difficult to evacuate in case of fire.
- When installing candles and lamps, take measures so that they do not tip over. If you use candles, then take care and buy steady candle holders for safety. However, if your grandparents have serious health problems, it is better not to use candles at all. Remember, fire safety for older people is much more important than the joy of a burning candle.
- Be sure to turn off an appliance or gas equipment after using it.
Fire safety for the elderly implies that seniors know how to act in case of fire. Do everything possible so that your elderly loved ones know the instructions for evacuation. Also, in case of fire, evacuate the elderly without panic, and let them know that they are safe and will receive the help needed.
Let people in the neighborhood know that an older person is living in the house. The safety of older people sometimes depends on whether the neighbors know that there is a grandfather or grandmother, and are ready to sound the alarm in the event of any warning signs. Make sure the phone is next to the bed. Sometimes an older person feels danger, but cannot find his or her phone to call for help.
A senior should always have glasses, a hearing aid, a cane, and keys at hand. The safety of older people is often at risk because they cannot find keys or glasses. Make sure that relatives can independently open the front door or window.
How To Receive Help If You Are Senior
In most cases, home safety tips for seniors come in handy for family members or caregivers. However, older people may take some form of care for themselves. There are advisory services for golden-agers, who have retained a certain degree of activity. It is highly recommended to receive training at every stage of life.
A safety school for the elderly conducts practical exercises aimed at:
- Familiarity with the dangers that threaten an elderly person, and the rules of action in an emergency, which is natural, social, or human-made.
- Mastering methods that allow you to protect yourself in a dangerous situation, reduce individual risk. Grandparents learn to ensure their safety.
- Mastering the skill of analyzing situations and making safe decisions.
- Formation of a responsible attitude to the protection of oneself and others, and the skill of cooperation that will be required to resolve or prevent a dangerous situation.
A safety school for the elderly and disabled involves the development of psychological, and legal safety, and traffic rules.
Who Else Can Ensure Their Safety
It is worth recalling that your state of mind affects the lifeline of your elders. We are all different, and situations when caring for a loved one are also different. There is one general rule that applies in any case: if you have negative emotions, discuss them. Sometimes it’s enough just to explain everything and find solutions together with a loved one.
In other cases, it is better to seek the help of friends, other relatives, or a specialist. Professional advice can radically enrich and improve the care of older people. Besides, there are proposals for the care of pensioners in the service market.
You can ask a nurse to look after an elderly person while you are at work or on vacation. He or she, as a rule, is a qualified specialist who is familiar with the intricacies of working with the elderly and can ensure the safety of older people.
However, finding a suitable caregiver is not so easy, because he or she must have not only a good education, but also possess such qualities of character as hard work, patience, and a caring heart.
The nurse can take care of the elderly person from time to time (i.e., to come for several hours a day) or live with him or her, and receive a fixed salary per month. The service of caregivers for elderly people has its advantages and disadvantages.
- A relative of an older person may charge only for the number of hours he or she needs.
- The supported individual does not need to relocate because caregivers provide an older adult with care at home.
- Most of the elderly do not like change, especially moving somewhere. You avoid stress by choosing home care.
- The family does not need to part with their beloved grandfather or grandmother.
- The lack of comfort that occurs as a result of the presence of an outsider in the home.
The worker you hired may, for some reason, not suit you or the person who needs care. Therefore, the nurse and the senior should have similar temperaments. This is why you need to have several candidates to choose from.
Personnel with the proper professional level will immediately notice flaws in home security, as well as share home safety tips for the elderly proven in practice. Also, you have to be confident in the caregiver. If you spend most of your time at work, then monitoring their activities could be challenging.
Luckily, we understand the importance and responsibility of caregiving services. We take care of your family members as if we were creating safety for our seniors at home. Our staff has extensive experience in the field of providing care for the elderly. We are always ready to get in touch, including nights and weekends. Become a client of All American Home Care Agency to get the best possible care for your loved ones.
Rest assured that our values coincide with the values of our clients. Our goal is to maintain and improve the quality of the golden-agers lifeline. Call us, and we will take care of everything you need.