Aging in Place: Creating a Safe Haven for Your Elderly Loved One
November is National Caregivers Month, a time to honor everyone who is caring for loved ones across the nation, to raise awareness of the many unique issues that caregivers face, and to share how their communities can support them.
If you’re caring for an elderly family member, it’s likely that you’ve accepted the responsibility with no prior experience or training. Education and proactive preparation is the key to creating and maintaining a living environment that’s both safe and accessible for your loved one. Here are some steps to take.
Creating An Elder-Safe Home
- Do a home safety assessment. Put yourself in your family member’s shoes and imagine how they navigate at home. Identify potential hazards such as loose rugs and power cords, dark hallways, cluttered spaces and sharp protrusions, then take steps to correct them.
- Take fall prevention measures. Falls are the leading cause of death and injuries for adults over the age of 65. Install wall-mounted handrails in areas with steps, as well as grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathtub and toilet area. Remove obstructions from traffic areas and keep walkers and canes within easy reach. Use adhesive, non-slip strips or mats on slippery surfaces like tile, linoleum and wood floors.
- Improve lighting where needed. Make sure hallways and living spaces, closets, countertops, entryways, outdoor walkways and the garage are well lit by adding area lighting and nightlights, and ensure that light switches are easy to find and reach.
- Provide home security. An entry alarm system as well as doorbell and room cameras are highly recommended for elderly people. Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in place and working, and consider purchasing a wearable fall detection device for your loved one. Make sure the home address is clearly visible to emergency personnel.
- Ensure that prescription medications are secure. Elderly people can sometimes lose track of their medication schedule, and taking meds at improper times or dosages is dangerous. A good solution is an automatic pill dispenser. These make it easy to keep medications organized, and some models are equipped with built-in timers and alarms to alert the user when it’s time to take them, as well as locks to prevent unauthorized access.
Peace of mind for caregivers of elderly parents or loved ones is important. With a Hold-Tight Handrail, your loved ones are less likely to have falls at home, which means you can worry less about their safety. Feel secure using our Made in America products with a Lifetime Guarantee. Contact our team for more information about our sturdy, easy-to-install handrails.