Keeping Seniors Safe at Home
by: Jeremy Mervin
If you have an elderly family member living with you, it is most important that you keep the house safe. The requirements are not very similar to what you will watch for when dealing with a baby, so do not apply the same rules here. Elderly people have many other problems which you must be mindful of, and provide for them in accordingly.
Elderly members have lots of trouble with their joints. They find it more difficult bending and reaching low. Make sure things around them are at a suitable height, and can be reached with little discomfort. Avoid making low shelves and cabinets below their waist level. In line with the same theory, make sure the bed for the elderly is also high.
There is more effort required to lie in, or get out of a bed which has a lower level. They also have a higher chance of losing their balance and suffering a fall. Use the same principle in the bathroom as well. Make sure the toilet seat is high so that discomfort is minimal. It is also useful to install a grab bar along the wall so that they can use it for support while sitting and getting up from the seat.
In the room of the elderly, and places where they frequent, make sure you have tiles which prevent skidding. It is best to have rough, textured flooring. With age, the feet wear out more, and there is a lowered ability to grip with the feet. If you have very smooth, slippery flooring, the chances of skidding and falling are greater.
Make sure the bathroom is dry at all times. For additional protection, make sure there is a way to let yourself into the bathroom even if it is locked. It is easy for the elderly to slip and fall, or even lose their balance in the bathroom. If they are locked inside, you may not know they are lying there for several hours.
It is best to provide the elderly a room which is at the same level as the other places in the house they normally use. Avoid having them to use the stairs. Keeping them in the basement is not the wisest idea unless they are not going to get beyond it.
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Home care counselors at Andelcare are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Andelcare is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Seattle WA and surrounding areas.