More families are opting to allow their senior loved ones to age in the comfort and privacy of their homes. However, as adults age, they often experience a decrease in physical, visual, and cognitive abilities, which makes them susceptible to injuries. You can reduce the risk by implementing a number of safety precautions.
1. Make a List of Emergency Contacts
Seniors should have a list of emergency phone numbers posted next to the phone. Necessary numbers include 911, police, fire department, and physicians. Additional numbers might include the poison control center and family members or close friends. Older adults might also benefit from having an emergency alert bracelet or necklace.
If you’re worried about your loved one’s safety while he or she ages in place, consider hiring a professional caregiver. When searching for reliable New Hampshire home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.
2. Explore Fall Prevention Strategies
All of your loved one’s medications should be assessed for possible side effects that might cause dizziness, which could lead to loss of balance. If your loved one’s home has smooth floors, he or she shouldn’t wear socks or footwear that don’t provide sufficient traction. Anyone needing the assistance of a cane or walker should always use the device when up and about. Pathways must be free of obstructions at all times.
3. Add More Lighting
Lighting indoors and out must be bright enough so your loved one can safely navigate the home without difficulty. Motion-activated lighting ensures rooms are illuminated when entered. Night lights installed in the pathways from the bedroom to the bathroom allow for safe travel if your loved one needs to get out of bed during the night.
4. Encourage Fire Safety
Homes and apartments should have two exits for safety. Check appliances for damaged or frayed electrical cords, and make sure there are not too many appliances using the same outlet fixture. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed near bedrooms. Space heaters need to be positioned away from combustible objects. When cooking, your loved one should never wear baggy clothing or long, loose sleeves.
Many seniors require assistance staying safe. In New Hampshire, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
5. Modify Bathrooms
To prevent burns, the temperature of water heaters should not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Bathrooms should have grab bars installed near toilets, showers, or tubs for safety. Rubber mats in showers and tubs are necessary to prevent slipping.
6. Prevent the Use of Poisonous Substances
Kerosene lamps or stoves should never be used in the home for lighting, cooking, or heating due to the gas they emit. Make sure medications remain in the container they were purchased in because large print labels on bottles make it easier for visually impaired seniors to read. When cleaning around the home, your loved one must never combine ammonia, bleach, and other compounds together, as noxious gases may form.
7. Make Seniors Aware of Possible Dangers
Seniors should keep their doors and windows locked. They should never allow a stranger to enter the home if alone. Caution your loved one against providing personal or financial information over the phone or on the computer. If anyone contacts your loved one under the premise of winning a prize or being a family member in distress, he or she should notify you or another family member for assistance.
Senior safety is not the only reason to consider professional in-home care. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. New Hampshire families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call Home Care Assistance at (603) 471-3004 to learn more about our customized in-home care plans.