If you’re caring for your elderly parents, you worry. You worry about what can happen to them when you’re not there to help.
It’s not uncommon to feel helpless when it comes to taking care of elderly parents. But there are steps you can take to help them be safer. Especially in their own home.
In fact, home safety is the first place you should look at when taking care of elderly parents. But I know you’re busy so I’ve taken the time to compile my favorite list of 5 home safety tips.
Taking Care of Elderly Parents Means Making Home Modifications
If you had a serious health problem, would you want to be at home or in a strange place? If you said home, you’re not alone. 9 out of 10 people would prefer to be in their own homes for as long as possible.
But staying at home usually means making some modifications. Not just to the home, but also to the lifestyle of the elderly person you’re caring for.
Here are a few modifications that will ensure the safety of your aging parents.
- Get a medical alert system or have a buddy who lives nearby check in on them every day
- Have them wear low-heeled shoes to avoid tripping
- Speaking of tripping, check for: throw rugs, electrical or phone cords, or any spills that may cause your parent to trip
- Get them to agree to no smoking in bed
- Make sure there are working fire alarms on every floor that are easy to find and reach
- Remove any and all clutter from the floors
- Keep any pet accessories away from high traffic areas. A small basket is a great place to store pet toys.
Don’t Forget to Modify the Bathroom
The bathroom can quickly become a very dangerous place. Especially for an elderly person struggling with physical health issues.
Here’s what you’ll want to check out and modify in their bathrooms.
- Have them leave a light on at night so they can see
- Install bath aids for the toilet and shower/bath
- Skid proof the bath/shower
- Turn down the water temperature to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid possible burns
And the Kitchen
Another common area where accidents can quickly happen is the kitchen. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can modify the kitchen to ensure your parent remains safe.
Here are my favorite tips:
- Clearly mark “on” and “off” buttons on everything, especially the stove.
- Store their knives in a rack
- To eliminate food spoiling, check the contents and clear out the refrigerator often
- Store cleaning items away from food items
Check Their Medications
Medications can confuse anyone. However, elderly people tend to take more medications than the rest of populations. And mixing them up could be very dangerous.
Here’s how to ensure their medications are safe for your parents.
- Review the medications with the pharmacist and doctor regularly to ensure they’re being taken correctly
- Label the medications clearly if they aren’t already
- Dispose of any old or unused medications
- Never let them borrow anyone else’s drugs. If you wouldn’t let your kids do this, you shouldn’t let your parents, either.
Dealing with elderly parents can be difficult. There are many emotions, stressors, and questions that come up. I’m here to help guide you and your family through this journey.