Your elderly loved one can no longer do all the tasks of daily living all by herself and you have decided to get her an in-home care provider. Another thing that has been on your mind lately is getting her home safety-proofed, both inside and out. This will definitely give you a lot more peace of mind, knowing her risks of falling or getting needlessly injured will be reduced.
Safety measures for the bedroom
- Ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working near each bedroom.
- Keep a lamp and a flashlight beside her bed in case the power goes out and also for nighttime use.
- Put a night light in the hallway leading from the bedroom to the bathroom to light up her way in the dark.
- Install grab bars near the bed to assist her in getting into and out of bed.
- Make sure there are no tripping hazards (cords, carpet edges, etc.
Safety for the bathroom
- This is the room that poses the greatest injury risk for seniors.
- Prevent accidental poisoning by making sure her oral medications are not kept in the same location as antiseptics, analgesics, etc. so that she doesn’t accidentally take the wrong thing in the wrong dosage.
- Sort and throw out anything that has passed the expiry date.
- Install grab bars in appropriate places around tub and toilet.
- Place non-slip flooring in the bottom of the shower or tub.
- Install a raised toilet seat.
- Prevent scalds by setting the hot water heater just below the medium setting.
- Make sure there is a fan installed to come on with the light switch so that humidity can be kept to a minimum to avoid the formation of mold and slippery water puddles.
- Use a bathroom floor mat that is non-slip
Kitchen safety measures
- The number one cause of home fires stems from cooking. Leaving the kitchen when something is cooking can be serious; a senior may forget to go back and turn it off. She may not smell it burning until it has become a big problem. She could set a timer if she has to leave (one that she can hear well) or make sure she only stays in the kitchen until she has turned the burners off.
- Help with cooking and keeping safe in the kitchen can also be provided by the caregiver.
Outdoor Safety Strategies
- Install lights near all home entrances that come on automatically when they sense movement.
- Fix steps that are broken or chipped.
- Make sure there are adequate handrails installed near each set of steps
- Arrange for someone to keep your loved one’s steps free and clear of snow and ice in the winter.