Seniors today are often able to live at home alone well into their golden years. At this point, a senior has likely taken great pride in how they’ve cared for their health and preserved their abilities. Now, the last thing anyone wants is to see them experience an injury that limits their independence. Keeping seniors safe at home requires taking a good look at their environment to find out how to make changes that prevent serious injuries.
Prevent Falls On the Staircases
Fall-related injuries are one of the most common reasons for seniors to go to the hospital. Even a small fall could result in a catastrophic injury in a senior with brittle bones. Take a moment to check that every staircase has a sturdy handrail that is firmly fixed in place. Adding handrails to outdoor stairs or installing a ramp is also a smart way to prevent injuries. If senior struggles with stairs indoors, then it may be time to add a stairlift to help them get around.
Create Clear Walkways
Cluttered rooms also create a risk for falls. Move any electrical cords out of the main pathways through the house. Then, make sure that there isn’t any large pieces of furniture blocking the path. If a senior has trouble bending over, then it may be necessary to have someone come by regularly to pick up pet toys and other clutter that accumulates on the floor.
Avoid Putting Heavy Objects On High Shelves
Shelves and cabinets can also get overfilled over time. When this happens, simply opening a cabinet door could lead to heavy objects falling on a senior’s head. Help the senior clear out unnecessary items from their cabinets and shelves. Then, rearrange where things are placed so that the heaviest items are in the lowest cabinets. Keep in mind that some seniors may also need items that they used frequently placed within their reach so that they don’t have to climb on a chair or ladder to reach their favorite salad bowl.
Plan for Pet Care
When a senior is recovering from an illness or injury, they may be tempted to ignore their doctor’s advice to take it easy if they have a pet who needs food and water. Have a plan in place to handle pet care needs during times when a senior is not feeling their best. It is also a good idea to make sure that their pets are well-trained. Having an energetic puppy underfoot could cause a senior to trip over them and fall. Lap pets with a relaxed attitude make the best senior companions.
Encourage Them to Wear Safer Clothing
That well-worn robe might be cozy, but it could put a senior in danger of being burned if the sleeves are so loose that they could fall onto the stove. Encourage seniors to wear fitted clothing when they cook. They’ll also want to make sure that they wear non-skid footwear when they are awake and moving throughout the house.
If you are looking for more information on how to best care for seniors, consider taking some aged care courses in Sydney.
Choose Appliances With Automatic Shut-Offs
Memory loss places seniors at risk of forgetting to turn off major appliances. Many modern appliances come with automatic shut-off switches that can prevent a tragic fire from happening. If an appliance does not have an automatic shut-off switch, then encourage your loved one to set alarms when they cook. If their memory loss is severe, then it may be better to arrange for someone to help them with meal preparation.
Older adults usually need someone to make a few modifications to their home to help them continue to live independently. Addressing the most common safety hazards helps them to continue to age in place without putting their health in jeopardy. Once a senior’s home is set up, continue to inspect it regularly for issues. Then, check in with the senior on a regular basis to make sure that they have everything they need to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.