For many senior citizens, thoughts of moving out of a family home cause fear. They’d rather be in their home with caregivers helping when necessary. The problem is that many homes may have safety features to keep young children safe, it’s less likely that a home has been scoured for potential issues that can impact the safety of an elderly parent. Here are four safety issues you need to inspect in your mom’s house.
How Bright is the Lighting?
Changes to the vision are common as you age. One of the common problems is being able to see clearly in low light situations. If your parent’s hallway, deck, entry area, or staircases have low levels of lighting, it increases the risk of bumping into something or tripping on an obstacle at night. You don’t want your parent to fall. Install more lighting if necessary.
What Obstacles May Get in the Way?
Look for furniture, throw rugs, or decorative items that may be in the way or a normal path from one room to another. A throw rug on a wood floor may slip and lead to a fall. A purse, shoes, or floor lamp might also impact safety. Make sure everything has a place where it’s out of the way of foot traffic. Outside, a loose patio tile, warped deck board, or loose gravel can also be an obstacle for your mom when she goes out to get the mail.
Are Sturdy Rails and Grab Bars in Place?
Stairs should have sturdy railings on each side. If they’re not there, have them installed by a professional or do it yourself if you’re able. In the bathroom, there should be grab bars in the shower or bathtub, near the toilet, and along the wall for getting in and out of the shower/tub safely. Rails and grab bars are also useful in long hallways and near a bed.
What Protective Measures Are in Place for Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety?
Check that smoke/fire alarms work properly. Make sure there’s a carbon monoxide detector. If anything is not working or missing, install it. Call in your furnace expert to inspect and clean the heating system at the same time.
Make sure you consider at-home caregivers as part of your discussions on staying safe at home. An aging parent will be safest when there’s someone to help with difficult tasks and provide companionship on a regular basis.
If you or an aging family member are considering hiring a professional caregiver in Massapequa NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.