Many seniors do not wish to relocate to a supervised living environment and want to remain at home. Aging in place is a good idea for many and can even be more cost-effective, but caregivers need to make sure that the home environment is safe for any medical or age-related conditions that the senior may have.
Below please find some tips for ensuring your elder’s home is a safe and comfortable environment.
Falls are the most common cause of injury amongst the elderly and a significant fall can lead to fracture which may carry health risks including an increased risk of death. Failing eyesight, loss of balance, limited mobility, and osteoporosis contribute to the increased likelihood of fall and increased medical risk of falls. Employing methods to prevent falls should be a priority for caregivers of seniors.
Hallways and walkways are a big concern in fall risk. Ensure that potential hazards are addressed such as:
Bathrooms are a common place for falls but you can help prevent them by:
Medication errors are a common cause of medical problems in the elderly and most elderly patients have multiple prescription medications that must be taken accurately. Be sure to coordinate with all of the senior’s doctors to ensure medications work properly and effectively together.
Consider counting out medication for the elder, as they may have trouble with this task. Caregivers should pay careful attention to instructions for prescription medications and ensure that medicine is taken reliably every day as prescribed.
General Household Practices
General safety practices may have fallen into disuse as the elder has aged. Caregivers should ensure that the environment meets basic safety standards such as:
Seniors may experience difficulty with previously “easy” tasks and may be tempted to try to do more than they can, resulting in injury. Simple changes may increase safety in the home.
Most changes that need to be made to ensure that the home is senior-friendly are not expensive or complex. Some require minor modifications that can be done by anyone who is handy with a few tools but in most cases, attention is the biggest factor.
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