June 21, 2019
June is National Safety Month.
If you haven’t taken time lately to think about safety in your elderly parent’s home, now may be the time to perform a walk-through and make some changes. Older adults are at risk for all kinds of home accidents that can cause injuries, or even cost them their lives. Below are some home safety tips that could help to keep your parent safer.
Post Emergency Numbers Near the Phone
Create a list of all the emergency numbers your parent, family caregivers, or home care providers may need if a problem arises. Use large type so that everyone can easily read the information, especially if your parent has poor vision.
Some important numbers to include are:
Fall-Proof the Home
About one-quarter of people aged 65 and older fall each year. Falling can result in broken bones, head injuries, disability, or even death. There are several things that can be done around the house to reduce the risk of falling, such as:
Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s important that the home has working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Ideally, there should be a smoke alarm in every room. Test them regularly to make sure they are still working.
Also, if your parent is hard of hearing, make sure they can hear the alarm even if they are sleeping. If not, purchase an alarm designed for the hearing impaired that includes flashing lights. Change the batteries in smoke alarms regularly. A good rule of thumb is to replace the batteries when daylight savings time begins and ends. Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5 to 7 years.
Home care providers can also help to keep your aging parent safe at home.
A home care provider can check on your parent as often as you feel necessary, staying for just an hour or two or for the entire day. Home care providers can make sure the senior does not fall by assisting them to get up from chairs or the bed and helping them walk from room to room. Home care providers can also prevent kitchen accidents by cooking for your parent so they do not have to use the stove or oven.