The decision to keep your aging parent at home or move them into an assisted living facility is a tough one. Your parent’s health and capabilities play a huge role in this decision. If your parent is healthy enough to live unassisted you should be sure their house has the best possible safety conditions for them. We have put together a list of some things to consider for senior safety at home.
Be sure that all of their rooms are well lit so that they can easily navigate through the dark. With age our night vision gets weaker so ample lighting throughout the entire house is a must. Using nightlights throughout hallways and commonly used rooms will help.
- Smoke Detectors
Check that smoke detectors are in working order and that yearly battery changes are performed. A carbon monoxide detector should also be in use and monitored.
Wherever there are steps, sturdy railings should be in place. Seniors often struggle with maintaining their balance so be certain that handrails are properly mounted on both sides of the stairwell. If necessary, a stair lift may also be installed.
- Shower Safety
Showers should also have rails to allow your parents to keep their balance while bathing and give them something to hold onto while entering and exiting the bathtub. Placing a bathmat in the tub will also help to prevent slips and falls.
How are the floors holding up? Are there any wood floor boards loose? Do the carpets have any rips or tears? Floors should be well maintained to have an even and clean surface to avoid any trips and stumbles. Cords and other items should be away from any walking paths. Throw rugs can move around and be a potential fall hazard, so secure any rugs with double sided tape.
- Daily Items
Where are the items located which are used daily? Where is the medicine kept? Anything that is too high up for your parents to reach without assistance is a potential hazard. Items which are used frequently should be located in places which are easy to reach and don’t require additional equipment to access.
- Fire Extinguishers
While we hope a fire extinguisher is never needed, having one in case of an accident is important. Small fires start easy so your parent should be prepared to extinguish one if needed. Be sure your parent is aware of how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Phone / Emergency Alert
Phones are a necessity if living alone, so that when an accident arises they can call for help. Giving your parents a cell phone would also be beneficial, if kept on them they will have ready access to a phone wherever they are. If phones are not available, an emergency alert system is a must! These systems can save their life saves if no one is available and they cannot access a phone.
If your relative has the ability and strength to care for themselves on a daily basis, living alone is an option. Follow the steps above to be prepared for or avoid any potential accident.