The trend of caring for elder parents at home is growing rapidly. Partly because of the expenses of special geriatric care cannot be handled by everyone and partly because younger folks want to connect with elders on a deeper level and prefer caring for their parent by themselves. Whatever your reasons might be, read this mini guide and act on it to make sure your parents remain safe.
Home Safety Tips For Elderly Parents
We want to aim for a space that has no potential danger of an elder being harmed. In order to achieve this, consider getting a medical alarm. Also, install a smoke detector, do regular checks and keep a working fire extinguisher in easily reachable proximity. Also, for old/new appliances that you feel may be a fire hazard you may also want to consider PATT testing.
Scatter rugs should be avoided because they increase fall probability greatly and make sure you tuck up any cords under carpet or tape them to the walls/floor in order to avoid a fall. Also, if your elderly parent needs walking aids, make sure that they are suitable for their height and structure.
The bathroom is the most fall-inviting place within a home. Protective measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of slipping. Always leave the bathroom light on, or keep the windows open. Make sure you have grab-on bars installed in the shower, near the bathtub. Consider having a toilet seat with arm-rests installed. Get anti-skid pads installed in their bathtub and outside it. Mark the hot and cold faucets and install anti-scald filters on the showers to reduce the risk of burning since elders have very sensitive skin.
Make the Kitchen Safe
Keep your kitchen floors clean and oil-free, keep the work area illuminated. Keep the sharp knives away from your work area. Keep the heavy objects at waist-level and not higher than that, to avoid injury from reaching for high shelves. Keep hazardous items away from food items. Keep the expiration dates of food in check, and keep rotating the food.
Make sure their medications are reviewed frequently by the doctor. Keep all the prescriptions in one place. Only buy medicines from authentic and well-reputed pharmacists. It would be great if you put labels on each of the medicine, especially medicines for mental illnesses.
Keep a working lamp on their bedside so whenever they take medicines, they are able to clearly identify them. Constantly keep checking for old, unused or expired medicines and throw them out so you don’t get them confused for other medicines. Do not borrow your prescription drugs from anyone else. Keep a pillbox to have them arranged and organised. Before you consume any medication that’s over-the-counter (such as a painkiller), contact your doctor and determine if your prescription drugs can be mixed with such medication.
These are some simple safety tips that make your space safer for your elders and help you stay relaxed with respect to their safety.
This article was written by Chris Palmer who regularly shares advice on elderly care. In particular dementia and supporting your elderly parent. You can find more by Chris on Age Space.