When people get older, they require more help due to the limitations affected by their age and health condition. While many older adults prefer to stay in assisted living facilities, some are comfortable when they stay in their own homes. Due to this, their family should make sure the home is safe for them to stay in.
Ensuring the safety of a home for older family members is costly but necessary. The changes in the homes depend on the condition of the elderly family member. These changes should focus on preventing their elderly relative from getting injured, especially if they live alone.
Here are the measures that families should implement to ensure the safety of elderly relatives at home:
Deal with Safety Hazards in the House
The first thing that the family should do to keep the home safe for senior family members is to deal with safety hazards in the house. These safety hazards range from old furniture that needs repair to unsecured throw rugs and electric cords.
Securing or fixing the house is enough to deal with some safety hazards. But some require their complete removal to ensure the home is safe for its elderly resident. For instance, replacing throw rugs with rubber mats featuring adhesive backs prevents slip and fall injuries at home.
Families should also remove the wheels of furniture to prevent them from moving around too much. Installing grab bars in the toilet also allows senior residents to use the toilet with minimal issues. Putting a flashlight on a nightstand beside the bed gives elderly relatives a source of light in case the power goes out at night.
They should also replace appliances and equipment with automatic shut-off features. The family should also install handrails on the stairs and ensure the stair treads prevent older adult family members from slipping when they go up or down the stairs.
If the older family member uses a wheelchair, the family should widen the doorways and other entryways in the house. The family should also install a ramp in the house to facilitate movement in and out of the house. Some of these modifications are easy to do. But hiring a professional to work on major renovations is essential to ensure they are done properly.
Monitor Changes in Their Abilities
The family should also monitor any changes in the abilities of their elderly relative since the care they need changes over time. Due to this, they should schedule regular checkups with their doctor to know if their elderly relative can continue functioning independently.
Families should also implement a medical alert system to ensure they stay on top of the health situation of their relatives. They should also make sure that it is easy for the elderly relative to call for help, especially during emergencies.
But the family should consider working with a home care agency to ensure the safety of their elderly relative. These agencies provide nursing, rehabilitative therapy, and physical therapy services for their clients. They also have a medical emergency response service to take care of older adults during emergencies.
Set up a Home Security System
Security is another safety concern for older adults who live alone. Property crime is the most common crime in the country. Due to this, families should make sure to secure the home of their elderly relatives. The best way to do this is to set up a home security system.
Recent developments in technology have made it easier to set up these systems. These systems range from simple alarms to smart home systems that connect home equipment with a smartphone. Since the elderly relative is living alone, families should consider setting up a home security system that comes with a carbon monoxide detector and fire alarm. Some systems also incorporate medical alerts to allow family members to monitor the health of their elderly relatives.
Stay Connected with Them
Even as families modify the homes of elderly relatives, they should also stay in touch with them to take care of their mental health. And since the pandemic is not yet over, families should use video conferencing software to protect them from the virus.
Nurturing relationships is an excellent way to maintain the mental health of elderly relatives. The family should schedule regular virtual conversations with their older family members. If it’s possible, they should also visit them while observing proper health protocols. Even if they are vaccinated, breakthrough cases are happening. And with their age, elderly relatives are prone to severe illnesses if the family is not careful.
Families should implement measures to ensure their elderly relatives stay safe if they decide to live alone at home.