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A Component of Senior Care is Making Your Loved One’s Home Safe

May 28, 2018 by Clark Bongaardt

A Component of Senior Care is Making Your Loved Ones Home Safe

 

When we are young and agile, we take for granted the ease with which we tackle seemingly safe, simple tasks, such as taking the ice cream out of the freezer, walking through the front door, and sitting down in a chair to do something as fundamental as checking email. As we age, however, and we experience losses in muscle strength, balance, and coordination, those everyday activities can become threatening as our risk of falls and injuries increases.

 

When it comes to the people we love, there is no more significant concern than that of their safety. Whether your loved one is living independently, is in your home, or is receiving some level of senior care, it is important to assess their living environment as a fundamental step toward danger reduction and fall risk prevention.

 

While it's not entirely necessary, if you can enlist the services of an aging-in-place specialist, such as an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, they will be able to provide suggestions from their experience with senior safety issues. They can walk through your loved one's living space and make recommendations specific to the environment and situation.

 

If you are the one doing the risk assessment and making necessary adjustments to the living quarters, there are a few often overlooked items to consider.

 

Lighting

 

One of the most common fears among people of all ages is that of being left in the dark. Darkness elicits feelings of insecurity and danger, and with good reason: when it's dark we cannot see potential threats.

 

Before making any other adjustments to the surroundings, be sure that spaces that become dark when the sun sets are equipped with lighting options. Included, but are not limited to:

 

  • Outdoor patios and walkways
  • Closets
  • Basements
  • Attics
  • Pantries and walk-in storage areas
  • Garages

 

Food

 

Not only can food spoil, which is a problem for everyone, but for seniors, it can cause problems when it comes to reaching frequently used items. It is not always easy to reach something in the back of the refrigerator, particularly without dropping something else on the ground. For seniors, this poses multiple threats. Reaching for items that are too high can cause physical strains; further, it can throw off balance and coordination, which often results in falls.

 

Additionally, when something is knocked onto the ground, out of the refrigerator, seniors can briefly forget about potential risks when bending over or reaching downward and can fall as a result. When helping seniors with stocking refrigerators, it is important to put frequently used items in easy-to-reach locations, to prevent such potential problems.

 

Bathrooms

 

The bathroom has earned its notoriety as the most dangerous room in any home for many strong reasons.

 

  • Water creates hazardous slip and fall situations in and out of the tub.
  • Water left without the use of anti-scalding devices can become too hot, which results in burns. Subsequently, when surprised by the warmer temperatures of the water, it can lead to stumbles and falls.
  • Toilets can be difficult to manage depending on a person's mobility. Particularly for those with some form of decreased mobility, safely sitting without the use of home care equipment can result in injury from falls.

 

What can be done to prevent injuries in the bathroom?

 

Home care equipment, such as shower rails, shower chairs, and raised toilet seats, among other items, can help to prevent injury in the bathroom.

 

If you think that your loved one requires assistance with personal care, such help is available from loving caregivers like those at Comfort Keepers of Springfield. A home care agency of this type can provide many home care solutions to improve the overall safety of your loved one.

 

The services we provide can help keep your loved one as safe as possible. Understanding how our services could help, please contact us through our website, or call us at (610) 543-6300.

 

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