I'm Worried My Loved One Isn't Safe at Home: What Should I Do?

As anyone with elderly loved ones knows, worries increase with age. Things that once seemed benign, such as stairs and kitchen appliances, can now be the source of serious anxiety for you and your loved one. Thankfully, you can do something about hazards in the home. Use this checklist to identify potential dangers in your elderly loved one’s home, and get tips for cultivating a safer home environment.

Bathroom

  • Middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom can put your loved one at risk of a trip and fall accident. Leave the bathroom light on at night or plug a nightlight into the outlet.
  • Bathroom aids, such as railing around the toilet, tub, and shower, can add an extra layer of protection for your loved one in the event that they lose their balance.
  • Set the water heater to a max of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burn injuries.
  • Purchase skid-proof mats for the tub and floors to prevent slipping on wet surfaces.

Kitchen

  • Make sure to replace burnt-out light bulbs as soon as possible so the area remains well lit.
  • Label or color code kitchen appliances so that your loved one clearly knows which buttons turn the device on and off.
  • Rather than a stovetop kettle, try an electric kettle with an automatic shut-off.
  • Avoid storing heavy or regularly used objects up high. Keep these items at waist level or lower.
  • Kitchen cleaning supplies should be stored in a completely different area, away from food.
  • Clean out the refrigerator regularly to avoid the consumption of expired food.

Pharmaceutical

  • Prescriptions should be clearly labeled or stored in seven-day weekly pill organizers.
  • Dispose of expired medications.
  • Discuss drug interactions with your doctor. Disclose all medications before allowing the doctor to prescribe a new medication or change a current medication.

Other Home Safety Tips

  • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
  • Avoid smoking inside, especially on the couch or in bed.
  • It’s best for elderly individuals to have single story homes, but if stairs do exist, make sure they are equipped with adequate hand railing. Installing a chair lift may be necessary.
  • Keep heavily trafficked areas clear of electrical cords, area rugs, and other debris.

Hazards are everywhere, even in your loved one’s home. While some of these hazards are easy to remedy, we understand that you can’t be with your loved one at all times, which is why we offer At Home Support services. Our carefully screened Caregivers provide private home services ranging from light housekeeping and meal preparation to bathing and medication assistance.

Discover the peace of mind that can come with At Home Support Services. Call today!

Categories: Healthcare
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