5 Simple and Easy Senior Home Safety Tips
By: Marcie Droll-Durian, Senior Housing Safety Specialist
A Few Small Changes that can Make a Huge Difference in Maintaining Independence!
As caregivers, one often is so used to how things have always been in their loved one’s home, that they often overlook a few things that may need to be changed as their needs change. It can be just what we perceive as everyday things that without a trained eye, may seem very trivial.
Having the basics down for your loved one can be the difference between being safe in their home, maintaining maximum independence, and something that could have been avoided such as a fall that spirals into severe and life changing repercussions that could have been avoided by a few simple steps.
Here are the BASICS of what you can do to maintain safety in the home of someone you are caring for:
1. Assistive Devices – Would they benefit from a walker or a cane? It is best to get a Dr. order and have a Physical Therapy Evaluation to determine the best type of assistive device and obtain the proper fit, as well as teach them how to properly use it.
2. Proper Footwear – Is your loved one wearing footwear that has good traction and not a slipping hazard? Are they able to put on their footwear with ease, so that they will wear them?
3. Trip Hazards in the home – How are they able to get around their home? Is there clutter that causes them to have to maneuver in an unsafe manner? Are their cords going across the floor that they could trip on? Are their throw rugs everywhere, that can be a hazard while using the walker or just simply walking? These are just the basics of fall risk management.
4. Proper lighting – Is there proper lighting in the bathroom, hallway, bedroom, so that if they have to get up in the night to use the restroom, they can see adequately? This can consist of plug in night lights that don’t require much cost of disturbance of sleep.
5. Accessibility of common items – Are the things that your loved one needs to get to in safe reach, such as dishes on a shelf that is accessible? Are the cooking pans that they need to use in safe reach? Maybe the pans in the bottom cupboards require bending over which may increase fall risk due to loss of balance and would be more functional in a cupboard on top with other commonly used items that can be safely reached and put back away. It may seem like it doesn’t make sense to those of us who still have safe mobility in every way, but it could increase the function in the kitchen of someone who has compromised balance and mobility.
These are just a few of the basic steps that can easily be taken to increase the safety of your loved one in their home! Please reach out to LivWell Seniors for more information on obtaining a Senior Housing Safety Evaluation by our Senior Housing Safety Specialist! It could make an incredible difference in the lives of your loved ones and you as a caregiver!
LivWell Seniors serves as a local agency providing community-based resources that are 100% free to seniors and their families. They are funded by the senior care providers that utilize their service and network of connections. For further information, contact us at 563-265-1577, or visit our website at www.livwellseniors.com.
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