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Senior Home Safety: Safety Tips for Home Care

Oct 9, 2019 by Comfort Keepers

Home care is a form of healthcare where caregivers provide supportive care to seniors inside the senior's home. Providing older adults or aging parents with home care allows the senior or loved one to age in place in the comfort of their home.  Many seniors or aging adults want to maintain a level of independence and by receiving care in their home they do not need to be placed into residential or long-term nursing homes. 

 

Many seniors receive comfort by remaining in their homes. However, home safety for older adults or aging parents is a major issue confronting the senior and their family members. There may be times when the loved one is left on their own even when the care is provided by a trained professional or by a family member. While the aging adult may find it appealing or be comforted by being in their own home, safety should be a major concern for the caregiver and the family members. 

 

A safe living environment is a must for older adults. An assessment of the senior's physical and cognitive needs or impairments are major considerations regarding what measures are needed to keep the senior living safely in their home.  It is well-known to the trained professional that kitchens and bathrooms are two rooms in the home with the highest risk of injury. These two rooms may need to be enhanced for complete senior home safety. 

 

A major cause of injury to elderly adults is from falls.  Frequently kitchens and bathrooms have slippery floors due to spills or standing water.  Thinking about fall prevention, slipping or skids Senior citizens overreaching for items just out of their grasp or above their heads can cause them to lose their balance and fall. Ensuring that bathrooms and kitchens remain safe is critical to the well-being of your loved one.  Below we have listed home safety tips covering kitchens and bathrooms in the home environment.

 

10 Tips for a safe kitchen for older adults:

 

  • Relocate dishes and other regularly used kitchen items so that they are in reachable cabinets and drawers which will prevent a senior from trying to use a stool or a chair to reach them.

  • Using secure drawers for sharp knives and utensils is generally a good idea

  • Remove small throw rugs, area rugs or rubber mats which are can be tripping hazards

  • Consider unplugging or disengaging the garbage disposal

  • Make sure that the hot water heater has been adjusted so that the water does not get too hot

  • Make sure that light switches are easily accessible

  • Consider removing excess electric cords from the kitchen

  • Night lights are a great way for the senior citizen to be able to quickly find light switches

  • Consider keeping cleaning supplies, flammable liquids or chemicals completely out of the kitchen

  • Regularly check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

 

6 Tips for a senior citizen's safe bathroom:

 

 

 

  • Remove throw rugs or area rugs from the bathroom floor

  • Install grab bars in the shower or bath and near the toilet 

  • Only use rubber mats that are of the non-slip variety on the floor or in the bathtub or shower

  • Make sure that there is a safe, secure area in the bathroom for the senior to take any medicines

  • Install grab bars or handrails near the toilet and in the shower to offer support and reduce fall risk

  • Add a waterproof chair to the shower or bathtub

There are other senior home safety items that need to be considered for aging parents, older adults and those that are receiving home care

 

  • Hallway nightlights leading to the bathroom should be installed

  • Electric cords should be removed from any walking areas including hallways

  • Removing all throw rugs or small area rugs from the entire home should be considered

  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should have their batteries regularly checked

  • A Personal Emergency Response System or medic alert should be considered where the senior can get help at the touch of a button on the wrist or around the neck should be available

  • If a standalone heater is used make sure that there are 3 to 5 feet of clearance around the entire unit.

Instituting these senior citizen safety tips and home care precautions early on can provide a safe environment for the aging adult. They can also offer peace of mind to the family members.

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