You’ve invited your mother or father to come and live with you. It’ll be great for the kids and you’ll feel much better not having to worry about you parent living alone and possibly having a fall with no one around to help. But now you’re wondering, is your home safe for an aging parent?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falling is the leading cause of death for seniors aged 65 and beyond. Take a moment to walk around your house. Is it a safe place for someone with occasional imbalance, poor vision or both? Here are some useful tips to senior-safe your home.
In the Bathroom
- Showers and tubs are one of the most dangerous places for seniors. Your parent will need the use of a walk-in shower so that he or she doesn’t have to step over the side of a tub. Consider adding a shower seat and secure handrail.
- Optionally, you can install one of those new walk-in tubs built specifically for seniors. Versatile enough for the whole family, they allow seniors to be able to enjoy a nice hot bath without the associated dangers of slip and fall accidents.
- Throw rugs and electrical wires are tripping hazards for seniors. Consider getting rid of any small rugs and runners. Make sure all electrical cords are safely stowed.
- Check to see if any of your flooring is slippery, especially to someone wearing bedroom slippers. Wall to wall carpeting is not only safer, but will provide better cushioning in a fall.
- Arrange furniture so that it’s not blocking any entrance ways or passages. Leave nice open areas for seniors to pass.
Light the Way
- Make sure lighting is adequate for your parent to see. You may prefer dim lighting, but he or she does not see as well, and dim lighting can be a hazard. Install extra lighting and make sure switches are near the entrance way to every room and easily reached.
- Install a telephone in as many rooms as possible and provide a charged cell phone as backup. Hopefully this will keep your loved one from panicking in an emergency and stumbling and falling while running for a telephone.
- Teach your parent how to operate your SafeTouch home alarm monitoring system, so that he or she can call for help in an emergency or respond appropriately should the alarm go off.
Just as when your children were young, there are accommodations you will need to make when your senior parent comes to live with you. A home alarm monitoring system from SafeTouch will give you added peace of mind when your loved one is home alone.