Tips for Increasing Safety for Older Loved Ones

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A home provides comfort through the years, so it’s understandable for older adults to prefer to remain in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. If you’re caring for elderly parents, it’s equally understandable to be concerned about their safety. Ease your own concerns and create a safe environment for your senior loved ones by keeping the tips offered below in mind.

Look for & Remove Fall Hazards

According to the CDC, nearly 40 million falls involving seniors occur each year in the United States. Help your aging parents minimize the risk of falls at home by looking for and removing fall hazards that typically include:

• Loose rugs
• Clusters of various items or materials
• Extension cords that aren’t concealed or securely placed against walls

On a related note, encourage your elderly parents to donate or get rid of any older furniture that clutters up commonly used areas. What this does is create a more open environment where it’s easier to move around and maintain stability. Also, make sure there’s sufficient lighting in darker areas of the home, such as hallways and stairways.

One of the most challenging tasks of helping an older relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide at-home care. Columbus families may turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer dependable care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties

Guard against Fire Risks or Hazards

Fires might happen in any home. However, anything involving fire and smoke is especially risky for older adults because it may not be easy for them to quickly leave the home if a fire occurs. Protect your aging parents from fire-related risks by:

• Making sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed
• Changing the batteries in these detectors at least once a year
• Removing real candles—LED candles are an appealing and safe alternative
• Discouraging the use of space heaters

If your parents have an older home, suggest having the wiring checked to see if any updates need to be made. Remind your parents to remain as low as possible to minimize issues with smoke inhalation if a fire occurs.

Make Emergency Numbers Easily Accessible

Should an emergency situation occur, make sure Mom and Dad are able to quickly get help if there’s no one else immediately around. One way to do this is to put a list of emergency numbers on the fridge. Program these same numbers into the phones your parents use. With emergency numbers, include ones for:

• 911
• Local police and fire departments
• Primary care physician
• Poison control
• Emergency contacts

If you need help ensuring your loved one’s safety at home, a professional caregiver may be a wonderful source of support. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Columbus senior home care experts from Assisting Hands Home Care are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. 

Make Kitchens & Bathrooms Safer

In the kitchen, put frequently used items in lower places to minimize excess reaching and eliminate the need to use step stools. In the bathroom, install grab bars around the toilet and in the tub or shower. Also, put slip-resistant mats near the tub or shower and by the sink.

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading in-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 614-481-4141.

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