Our home should be a place we feel safe in and be able to relax. As we age, the way we live and how we get around changes in ways we may not have expected. Stairs, door handles, and loose wires on the floor all pose a threat to our loved ones mobility safety. At CareBuilders at Home, we want to provide you with the peace of mind that your loved one is well taken care of in a safe environment that will allow them to navigate through their home with ease.
The first step in making your home safe is to assess what posses the most danger to your loved one. Every person ages differently and each comes with their own set of obstacles. For those who suffer from mobility issues, making hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms are first priority in making sure pathways are clear and free of objects. Have your caregiver pick up any loose articles that may block hallways or be a tripping hazard. If wires or cords are present on the floor, make sure they are hung up on the wall or safely tucked away free from the walking path. Even something as simple as a rug can cause detrimental damage if a walker or foot were to get tangled and cause a fall.
If your loved one has difficulty standing in one place for too long, can’t keep balance, or can’t pick things up easily try suggesting to them or their family to install easily accessible gripping rails. Railing in a home can significantly increase safety by allowing your loved one a safe object to hold on to while bathing, or otherwise moving about their home such as up stairs or down a hallway. Installing door handles with a handle instead of a ball grip make opening and closing doors easier and faster and cause less pain in the hands.
Floors that are of tile or hardwood are often more likely to cause falls than those with carpet. To decrease the risk of falling in the home, wear socks or shoes with excellent grip on the bottom. Bathroom tubs are especially risky as the combination of water and a smooth floor are more likely to cause falls. An easy remedy to reduce the risk of bathroom danger is to get a special no-slip mat for the bathroom both in the tub and when exiting. Have your caregiver help you get in and out of the tub to make sure bathing is a safe experience.
Having access to a home phone can cause problems in case of an emergency if it isn’t reached in time to call for help. Have your caregiver move your home phone to an easily accessible place in your home where you spend most of your time and are able to reach it quickly in case of an emergency. You may need more than one home phone throughout your house such as in the bedroom on a nightstand, in the kitchen on the counter, or even in the living room next to your chair. Placing a phone in these easy to access places can not only make you safer, but even save a life.
Every home deserves to be a place of comfort and safety. No one should live in fear of their home because they are getting older. With a few adjustments and the help of a caregiver, living at home in our older years can be a rewarding and enjoyable life changing experience.