As caregivers, our priority is home safety for the elderly.
And that is one of the reasons why we help our seniors aging in place.
The question is, what comes after you set up your elder's home for aging in place?
How do you keep them away from all the various dangers out there? How do you keep them safe while living independently?
Today, we will be discussing practical home safety tips for the elderly and seniors who are aging in place.
So let's get started.
Keeping the house safe is stressful enough. But it's more challenging for seniors who live alone and are aging in place.
Seniors are more likely to suffer from accidents like trips and falls. Many also suffer from neurocognitive disorders, like Alzheimer's, affecting memory functions.
The elderly are more susceptible to violent attacks, burglaries, and home invasions. They are also more prone to elderly abuse.
It can be a challenge to keep your loved ones aging in place, especially if you don't have access to large amounts of capital. And it can be expensive to arrange for care providers.
As primary guardians and caregivers, we can't always be there to ensure our seniors are safe. So what can you do about it?
One of the easiest and more affordable ways is to install security features in your loved ones' homes.
Doing this can help you check on them now and then without being physically present.
They can be one of the best crime deterrents available.
It helps you keep track of any strangers lurking around your senior's home. It also records people coming in and out of the house. This gives you an idea of the goings-on while you are away.
Security systems have many optional features. For example, they can alert the homeowner to break-ins, carbon monoxide, smoke, water leaks and frozen pipes.
These types of safety hazards in the home are difficult to detect especially for the elderly.
So here are some of the best, easy-to-use home security systems for seniors.
The question is, do security systems invade a person's privacy? Technically, it depends where you put them inside the house.
You'd want to keep it away from rooms with high privacy areas like bedrooms or bathrooms.
It is also advisable to increase visibility in accident-prone areas like the kitchen, garage, and laundry room.
Check out this blog from Safewise.com for more information on security camera rules, laws, and rights.
According to CDC, for older adults aged 65 and above, falls are on the rise. This makes falls the top cause of injury and death in this population.
One of the most common cause of falls is unruly cords and wires.
That's why it should be a priority to regularly check how chords and wires are placed.
Check the surge protector's instructions to find out how many cords can be securely connected to one outlet. And never staple or nail wires to a wall.
Most seniors also suffer from declining vision, so there's a huge need to secure and organize cables with cable covers or compact chord protectors.
Cables that are jammed into tiny areas might cause a fire hazard. So keep wires out of sight and resting flat to avoid placing pressure on them.
It also makes sense to turn your home into a smart home. Get internet-connected devices that allow remote monitoring and lighting and heating systems.
The great thing about smart homes is the convenience it offers. Most of these devices are also energy efficient and easy to operate.
They also have voice activation features that seniors can use.
Read more here about remodeling home ideas for seniors.
Often, seniors have to deal with complicated medications, especially if they have to manage several chronic illnesses.
This situation may make it necessary for caregivers to properly manage their medications.
Seniors often find it hard to remember which medicines to take each day. And this is a task that you need to manage as a caregiver.
It's practical to list all the medicine your loved one needs to take. This list should include the name, amount, and time they need to take it.
You can also install apps on their phones to make reminders much easier to manage.
Check out some of the most recommended medicine app reminders from Healthline.com.
Also, take note of the storage instructions for each medication.
Storing medicines in the bathroom might expose them to extremes of temperature and humidity.
Also ask your pharmacist about the safest ways to dispose of expired medication to avoid accidental ingestion.
Dangerous chemicals pose a high risk for seniors aging in place. It's easy for them to miss labels and expiration dates on common household chemicals and cleaning agents.
The garage is a good storage space for tools, equipment, and other household items. But it can be a dangerous place for seniors too.
Do routine checks for safety and make sure all the things they need are within their reach.
Minimize clutter by organizing items by category. For example, you can use storage racks to collect common items like laundry soap and other cleaning agents.
Or better yet, if needed use cabinets with locks for dangerous items .
Get more tips on how to organize and declutter garages for seniors here.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous areas of the house.
Electrical fires, slips, accidents, and injuries are just a few of the hazards in a kitchen.
And the elderly are at a much higher risk, especially if they have mobility, agility, or cognitive loss issues.
Dementia can also cause people to forget to turn off the burner, remove meals from the oven, or unplug equipment, resulting in burns, fires, or even death.
Fortunately, there are ways we can let our seniors continue using the kitchen safely by following these guidelines.
It's good to invest in cookware with large visual displays that are easily read.
Or better yet, invest in a smart kitchen with induction cookers and smart gadgets.
Additional detectors include gas, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors and flood alarms for overflowing water.
Read more kitchen safety tips here.
Home safety for seniors includes having regular home assessments.
A skilled home inspector will inspect and recommend various changes and improvements.
And it's for improving a house's accessibility and overall safety for our seniors.
Home inspectors can help by making recommendations for the height of kitchen appliances, adding a walk-in tub, and altering floor surfaces to lessen the risk of falls.
They can also look at electrical outlets and switches for signs of faulty wiring.
Unsafe outlets will prompt them to recommend an electrician. They also advise covering switches and plugs to avoid shock dangers.
Learn more here about how home assessments work.
It's also important to have an emergency exit plan in place in case of fire. Having a plan ready and a clear path to get out of the house.
To make sure our seniors can get out quickly and without getting hurt, they can practice the plan a few times a year.
A list of emergency phone numbers should always be near the phones. So be sure to list the following numbers for personal safety tips for the elderly:
It's also best to consider hiring qualified caregiver assistance if our loved ones struggle to care for themselves.
Whether you hire a home care service provider on your own or work with an agency, you can put your fears at ease by doing some basic research.
So ask for recommendations from people you know. Your doctor or other healthcare professional may also give you suggestions.
Declines in safety can happen gradually or suddenly, negatively affecting a senior's life.
So it's better to do regular checks with your elders as well as their daily environment.
Home safety for the elderly is essential in helping our loved ones live independently.
It’s not enough to make sure their health is in check. We also need to make sure that accidents and other risks are prevented as early as possible.
Do you have any tips on keeping your parent's and seniors’ homes safe? Share them with us below.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!