As a company, Effraim Home Care is committed to helping our clients live enjoyable lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes. We are also aware that as we all age, the issue of safety becomes a concern. In this article we will address some of the major senior safety concerns to take into consideration. These will be useful to you if you are an older adult living on your own or a caregiver providing care to an older loved one.
FallsFalls are a major concern when it comes to the safety of an aging adult. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control one in every three older people (above 65) falls each year. It is a serious problem but one which has very simple and implementable solutions.
11 Ways To Prevent Falls In The Home
- Get rid of things that can be easily tripped over - area rugs for instance should be taped down and objects (books, furniture, household appliances etc) that obstruct hallways and walkways should be stored away so that walking spaces are easier to navigate.
- Keep floors dry as much as possible. In areas of the home that routinely get wet like the bathroom or kitchen, non-slip mats should cover the floor.
- Support structures in the shower/bathroom such as a railings are extremely helpful.
- Easier means of transportation up and down the stairs such as ones shown in the video below can be used as well. Don't be afraid to call and ask if your insurance plan covers these type of devices.
- Another safety precaution for staircases are grab-bars or railings that allow the older adult to hold on as they ascend or descend.
- If the home has a bedroom on the first floor that does not need a staircase to access, consider relocating your bedroom here.
- Lighting should be adequate. It is natural for older adults to wake up at night to use the bathroom. Having night lights strategically placed in their path will help you find your way to and fro.
- Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor regularly so any problems can be corrected as soon as possible.
- Begin a low impact strength training regimen to improve your leg strength and balance.
- If you use a walking aid, make sure it is correctly measured for your height and weight and that you're comfortable with it.
- Wearing proper fitting shoes is also necessary in the prevention of falls.
- Avoid smoking in your bed and especially so if you have an oxygen tank in the house with you.
- Make sure all the burners on your stove are off before you head to bed.
- If you smell a gas leak, don't hesitate. Report it immediately.
- Turn off any burning candles before you go to bed as well.
- Have the temperature of your hot water heater tested and adjusted to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- Avoid electrical blankets as much as possible
Medication SafetyThis is a huge one. Being safe when it comes to your medication is another reason why checking on your eyes is necessary. It is important for you to be able to read your prescriptions carefully and take them accordingly so that you don't endanger yourself in any way.
- When it doubt, call up your doctor or pharmacist and have them review your medications with you. If it is helpful, ask them to print you out a sheet telling you what each medication does and keep that sheet in a place where you can see and refer to it every day.
- Never, ever borrow medication from someone else even if you have "taken the drug a hundred times".
- Completely dispose of expired medication and the containers they came in.