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Home Safety for the Elderly or Disabled

May 16, 2017


At Comfort of Home Healthcare safety is a number one priority, and special safety measures need to be taken in the homes of the elderly and disabled. Home safety is vital to the proper care of each patient. There are simple precautions that can be taken in order to avoid unnecessary accidents. 

 

 

During this chaotic time it is easy to forget about certain things that need to be done to ensure the safety of everyone. This article provides a list of helpful reminders about home safety. If we take action in our own homes we may prevent serious, or even fatal, accidents. Home safety measures may prevent falls, fires, careless accidents, etc. The well-being of every person needs to be placed above convenience at all times. 

 

Comfort of Home Healthcare will always go out of their way to make sure that clients, patients, and caregivers are living and working in a safe and healthy environment. 

 

Read the article below to get a better idea of what you can do to help in creating a safe environment for your family. 

 

Home Safety for the Elderly/Disabled

 

 You may have become used to "disposables"—everything from cameras to contact lenses—but you need to remember that if your parent is a member of the senior generation, who lived through the Depression and World War II, he or she was taught from their earliest days to make do with what was on hand. To use it up. To wear it out.

     Unfortunately, that means in the homes of some elderly people, they're "making do" with a hodgepodge octopus of ancient extension cords rather than having a wall outlet fixed or buying one cord of the proper length and correct electrical rating.

     They're "using up" old prescriptions even though the doctor has taken them off the medication.

     They're "wearing out" items like space heaters or fans to the point that there's a danger of getting a shock or starting a fire.

     They're emphasizing self-sacrifice and thrift to such an extent that their safety is jeopardized, and that can be a serious, even deadly, mistake.

     In the same way that a couple expecting their first child have to "baby-proof" their home for safety, you need to walk through your parent's house with safety in mind.

     ● First, are the basics covered? Some items need attending in any home. For example, no overloaded electric outlets. Sufficient smoke detectors. A bath mat in the bathtub. No exit doors blocked by furniture. No drapes, furniture or other flammable items near electric baseboard heaters. And so on.

     These are just a few suggestions:

     ● Remember all stairs, inside and out, need sturdy handrails and they need to be well lit.

     ● Make sure the bathroom has a grab bar. Don’t use an empty towel rack for this. Grab bars are designed—and installed—to bear the weight of an adult. Medical supply stores offer literally dozens of similar safety items—from bath tub rails to raised toilet seats—that can make a home safer. Many stores also rent items and have catalogs available.

     ● See to it the kitchen has a sturdy step stool—or none at all. Also, move bulky and heavy items to lower cupboards because it can be difficult for your parent to reach up and lift things down. Items taken from lower cupboards, even if dropped, will land directly on the floor, not on Mom or Dad.

     ● Put a night light in Mom's bedroom or make sure she can be easily reach a lamp from
bed. The one-touch style lamp is great for this.

     ● Get rid of clutter. Furniture buried in mounds of junk mail and floors stacked with old newspapers and magazines can make it difficult for anyone to get around and especially someone using a cane or walker.

     ● Help Dad throw out prescribed medication that he no longer needs or has passed its expiration date. Some seniors just hate to throw away a "perfectly good," passed date prescription just because it cost so much. You can remind him that outdated medicine loses its effectiveness, and older medicine, combined with his current prescriptions and conditions, could cause serious side effects.

     ● Make sure medicine bottles are clearly labeled in print large enough for Mom to read. (The same applies for household cleaners.) If she has trouble remembering what medicine to take when, use a seven-day medication dispenser (available at drug stores).

     ● List needed phone numbers, in large print that can be read without glasses, by each telephone. These should include your work and home numbers, the doctor's office and the general emergency 9-1-1. Also, program those numbers into any speed-dial systems.

     ● Write down your parent's address and phone number and keep them by his or her phones. When a crisis arises, anyone can have trouble remembering that information.

     ● Remind Dad to be safety-conscious. For instance, don't smoke in bed or just before nap time in that favorite chair. Don't wear the bathrobe with the floppy sleeves when cooking something on the stove. Don't use the stairs for storage.

     Most of your suggestions won't be new to your parent. Mom may seem a little annoyed as she answers, "I know, I know." Don't let that discourage you. It's probably the same answer you gave her years ago when she was first teaching you these valuable lessons.

 
    Two other points to consider:

     It may be worthwhile to see about getting an emergency response system for Mom or Dad. By pushing the call button on a necklace or bracelet or the system’s base, your parent is on a speaker-phone with a system attendant. If your parents pushes the button but is unable to speak or is too far from the base to be heard, the attendant summons aid.

     Ask your parent's doctor about companies offering the service. Find out if the response is local or if it's monitored in another part of the country. And if it is called, do staff operators then call you or call the police in your parent's area?

     Also, be aware some of the companies emphasize sales (they may vigorously push entire home-alarm systems) but fall short when it comes to service.

     Another choice is a reassurance phone call. Again, ask your parent's doctor about this. With this system—often administrated by the local hospital—someone calls your parent at the same time every day to make sure he or she is all right. If there's no answer, the person informs whoever is on your parent's needs-to-be-contacted list.

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