Due to the increased popularity of in-home senior care, it is important to make sure you and your loved ones understand the potential risks and can prepare accordingly. Fortunately, there are ways to boost safety for the elderly in their private homes.
To help prevent falls in the home you should remove any safety hazards such has heavy items that are hard to reach or unnecessary furniture that are hard to navigate around. Improving lighting in rooms can also increase visibility and help prevent tripping. Installing handrails on stairs and in bathrooms prove very beneficial as bathrooms tend to have more falls than other places in the home. Also, having a phone that is wireless and can be carried around helps prevent the act of rushing to a phone ringing in another room. If a fall was to happen, it is good to have an emergency response device to have immediate assistance. Having an emergency response device could save your loved one's life.
There are many things you can do to help prevent fires in homes that the elderly live in alone. You can start by making sure that outlets are not overloaded, getting rid of open flame candles and if space heaters are used, purchasing ones that turn off automatically after a certain amount of time or when the desired temperature is reached. In the kitchen, be sure to mark on and off switches with large print that is easy to see. Install smoke or heat detectors in every room. To make sure those smoke and heat detectors are the most effective, they should be monitored so in the event of a fire, an emergency response team will be on the way immediately without so much as a phone call.
Two very large culprits of poisoning are carbon monoxide and medication. To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning have the furnace inspected annually to make sure it is working correctly and efficiently. Also, make sure you install carbon monoxide detectors near all of your bedrooms but away from vents. To avoid medication poisoning always keep medications in their original containers. You can also ask the pharmacy to put larger labels on them so they can be read easily. Review with the elderly what to take and when, and remind them often.
Although we hope we never have to deal with elder abuse, it does happen and we should do all we can to prevent it. Older individuals are often taken advantage of over the telephone or through email. You should talk to your loved one about never giving out any identifying information or bank account information over the phone or in response to an e-mail. A more immediate threat of abuse would be someone invading their home. Be sure that all doors and windows are locked. An older adult should never let a stranger in their home without another relative there. For further protection and peace of mind, installing a burglar alarm system would alert you and authorities if someone did invade their house while they are home, away, or even asleep. Adding a simple camera to a central part of the home where they spend a significant amount of time can also allow you to look in on your loved one remotely and know that they are ok. An emergency response device, mentioned above, can also be added to help give you a greater piece of mind.
The ability to keep loved ones in their home is something that has become more prevalent today. It is important for all involved to feel confident that they are comfortable and well protected.