Keeping their elderly loved ones in their own homes rather than moving them to a retirement facility is the best option for many people. But, is it beneficial to have an elderly parent live with you? Our homes give us a sense of comfort, familiarity, and continuous freedom and security. So it makes sense for a senior to remain at home. However, this can often raise some anxiety over safety issues. Here are some things you could consider putting in place to help keep your relatives safe.
Risk Assess For Falls
Falls in the home are one of the main factors in injuries suffered by elderly people. Protect against this by ensuring that your relative is wearing well-fitting, non-slip shoes and removing rugs or other hazards that could be tripped on. It’s also very important to keep rooms clutter-free and brightly lit to further promote a safe environment. Floors should be kept dry and should be level, and clothing should not potentially cause a fall, either.
Grab rails and bars in the bathroom are very helpful in avoiding falls, too, and keeping a chair in the bathroom and kitchen is a good idea so that if your relative has a sudden dizzy spell, they can sit down before a fall could occur. Also, check furniture regularly to make sure it is sturdy and undamaged and not liable to buckle or tip over if leaned on for support.
Wires and cables should be tucked away so that they pose no threat of getting caught on passing feet and take into account any walking aids needed. If your relative uses a frame of a wheelchair, for example, there needs to be room for them to maneuver this equipment easily and safely.
Provide a Panic Button
A panic button is a helpful way of providing peace of mind for both you and your elderly loved one living at home. These buttons summon help if pressed and can be used in cases such as when your relative feels unwell, has fallen, or if a fire has broken out. Wireless panic buttons can be worn all around the home and often even in the garden.
There are now advanced panic button systems on the market that offer superior levels of care: go now to this review which details some of the benefits of such a system. These include voice activation over an Alexa device so that no wearable equipment is required and a daily check-in call to make sure all is well, following which an update message is sent to the primary caregiver. The software can also be used to set reminders regarding medication, listen to audiobooks, and make phone calls.
As well as ensuring that fire alarms are installed and checked regularly, it’s also important to fit carbon monoxide detectors if your relative’s home uses gas. Advancing age, as well as certain medications, can cause an impairment to the sense of smell, so your relative may not promptly become aware of smoke in the event of a fire.
Keeping a fire extinguisher in the house is also a great precaution to take, and ensuring that furniture is fire retardant is advisable, too.
The kitchen is frequently referred to as the “heart” of a home. As a result, it seems natural that family caregivers devote a significant amount of work to making this place safer for a senior.
The kitchen, and cooking, can pose a particular set of hazards, but many can be addressed and mitigated. Firstly, make sure that the equipment that your loved ones use a lot and heavy items are kept within easy reach. Putting non-slip mats under dishes and beneath boards when chopping food is a good idea, too.
Knives are available with handles specifically designed to be easier to handle and manipulate, so these make a great investment, and using cups and mugs that have wide bases is helpful to prevent spills. Suggest your relative use a timer when cooking in order not to lose track of how long an item has been in the oven or on the hob.
Finally, if your loved one is experiencing memory problems, consider adding labels to cupboards and drawers to help them easily find where things are.
Consider Fitting a Stairlift or Ramps
Stairs are a particular fall hazard for elderly people. A stairlift can reduce the risk of related injuries and improve your relative’s quality of life if getting up and down the stairs is causing pain or distress.
Stairlifts are safe, and many can be customized to match the needs of the user; they’re also often an option for those wishing to stay in their own homes but finding the practicalities difficult: in these cases, they are a good alternative to the need to move into a bungalow, for example.
Stairs to the front and rear of the property could be converted to ramps to help your loved one get in and out of their home and more easily access their garden. These are especially good at preventing falls in the autumn and winter when leaves or ice can make surfaces slippery. Add a handrail, too, to provide additional security. Ramps can help your relative in feeling more confident in gaining entrance to and egress from their property, and the result of this has been shown to ease feelings of isolation.
Keep a list of emergency numbers handy
Is there a cell phone in your loved one’s possession? Many more bells and whistles can be found on cell phones. Consider a simpler model. Excessive alternatives can be confusing, pricey, and utterly unnecessary for seniors. Larger keypad numbers and a display window should be included in the feature. It will be simpler to press and view these. You may also set up a “call display” option on the phone as aging brains do not usually remember emergency information.
Quality of life and assisting your Elderly Relatives
Most families are worried about their elderly loved one’s quality of life in addition to satisfying basic requirements. This entails thinking about things like social connection, purpose, autonomy, and dignity. It’s also crucial to discover more about what matters most to the elderly person, as well as what they think is less important or willing to sacrifice.
Build a healthy relationship with their Neighbours
If you leave your elderly relatives in their homes instead of a retirement facility, then you must try building healthy relationships with their neighbors. It will not be possible for you to be available for them 24/7. In that case, the neighbors are always helpful. Whenever you go to visit your elderly relatives, you must also spend some time talking with their neighbors.
You can buy some gifts for them as a good gesture. You will feel a lot safer thinking that the neighbors can look out for your relatives in case of an emergency. Connect with their neighbors on social media platforms to get daily updates. Having a helpful neighbor is always beneficial.
Once you grow older, you need someone to take care of, someone who can look after you in an emergency. Similarly, if you have elderly relatives at home and leaving them in their homes all by themselves might be quite difficult as it contains a lot of risk factors and there will not be anyone to take care of them.
Many elderly relatives don’t want to live in retirement facilities, but there might be times when you won’t have any choice other than to leave them in their homes, but you can still feel safe about it by taking all the precautionary measures that will help them to stay safe at their home.
Your life might become hectic and overwhelming, but you can make them stay with all the needs and necessities, ensuring their safety.