Providing elderly in home care in your home will require planning and extra safety measures. These senior care safety guidelines are a great place to start:
In the Bathroom
- Slipping hazards - Add decals or a bath mat in slippery tubs. Be sure to use nonskid rugs on the floor of the bathroom to avoid tumbles. A fellow caregiver suggested wearing swimming shoes in the shower is a great way to avoid falls.
- Shower Rails - Install shower rails to make it easier to enter and exit the stall or tub. Be sure the rails are attached to studs in the wall and do NOT use towel bars!
- Toilet frames - When providing care for the elderly, a toilet frame is essential to add support and raise the height of the seat, making it easier to turn around, sit and stand back up.
- Water Temperature - Caregivers should turn down the water temperature on water heaters to avoid scalding.
- Check the Door - Ensure there is no lock, or that, if there is, that the caregiver can easily obtain access from the outside, in case of emergency.
Inside the Home
- Smoke Alarms - Have you checked your battery lately? Try to get into the habit of changing the batteries twice a year. If your loved one is hearing impaired, upgrade to one with flashing lights.
- Rugs - Elderly in home care can mean previously benign objects such as rugs can be life threatening. Get non-slip backing for slipper rugs, and remove any loose throw rugs that may be easily tripped over.
- The Phone -Many seniors unwittingly give out personal information to financial predators. Many caregivers secure phones away from elderly who suffer from reduced mental capabilities.
- Wear Shoes - Elder care professionals suggest having your parent wear shoes with a good tread in the home. Ensure the shoes fit comfortably to allow ample circulation.
- Medication Storage - You may need to purchase a small safe for storage of medications. Check expiration dates frequently and have a caregiver present to observe medication is properly taken.
Outside the Home
- Easy Visibility -When providing care for the elderly, ensure your street number is easy to see, especially at night, by using reflective surfaces.
- Installing a Ramp - Contact local authorities to ensure building and safety code adherence. Elder home care providers who have stairs should ensure the handrails are sturdy and steps are free of debris and loose boards or bricks.
- Check the Locks - if you provide senior care for a parent who suffers from mental impairment, it may be necessary to add deadbolts that require a key to enter or exit. Ensure a neighbor or nearby friend has an extra key if possible.
Share your caregiver tips! For professional advice on elderly in home care, contact a local occupational therapist for a home safety assessment.
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