What may not constitute an obstacle to you may be to your elder loved one. There are actually areas of the home that should be addressed to better suit the mobility and agility limitations we can all expect to experience as we age.
Take a Walk Through The House
- Keep all areas of the home, including hallways and stairs, well-lit but free from glare.
- Remove scatter rugs or attach a nonskid backing to them.
- Reduce the risk of falling on uncarpeted floors by ensuring they are not slippery. Do not use any gloss polish.
- Use night lights in the bedroom, hallways, kitchen and the bathroom.
- Remove all newspapers and magazines from the kitchen counter areas.
- Inspect electrical cords for fraying or cracking; be sure they are placed away from walking paths, but not under a carpet or furniture, where they could present a fire hazard.
- Set the hot water heater/tank temperature to 115 degrees (Fahrenheit) or 46 degrees (Celsius) – or less.
- Use slop-resistant decals or non-skid mats in the tub or shower.
- Install grab bars in the bathtub and near the toilet; be sure the screws go directly into the wall studs, so that they remain securely in place.
- Check to be sure that extension cords are not overloaded and are clear of walkways.
- Install smoke detectors on every floor of the house and test them monthly.
- Destroy out-of-date medications and those which are no longer being used.
- Place a telephone in the bedroom. Post emergency numbers by all telephones.
- Keep space heaters away from flammable materials and be sure the room is well ventilated.
- A three-pronged plug should be used in a three hole outlet or an adapter should be used.
- Always turn off heating pads before an older person goes to sleep.
Have a Plan
Have an emergency exit plan and an alternative plan in case of fire. If the older person has a disability, call the local fire department and have them give you some stickers for the windows.
You may want to review some of these issues with your loved one and call Living Assistance Services to assist you in making your loved one’s home safer and happier.
Making the home safer makes your life easier!
David Porter, CPCA
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care