The general safety and well-being for our senior loved ones are every caregiver’s top concern. Read the following tips on how to keep them safe at home!
- Fall Prevention
While anyone can be injured from a fall, the prevalence and severity of injuries are much more significant in the elderly. Unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury over the age of 60 with fatalities being most prevalent in Southwest Pennsylvania for the state. Injury from unintentional falls are most likely to occur in areas such as bathrooms, stairwells, and kitchens.
- Ensure frequently trafficked areas of the home are well lit.
- Install grab bars for extra support in areas prone to falls such as bathrooms.
- Remove clutter, especially small items, left on the ground such as shoes, small boxes, low tables, etc.
- Ensure rugs are resistant to slippage and not placed at the bottom or top of stairwells.
- Review the NCOA’s (National Council On Aging) article on Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls.
Unfortunately, no home is completely injury-proof and accidents do sometimes happen. In these instances, it is important that seniors are able to communicate with those that are able to help the fastest. In today’s world, communication has never been easier. However, it is important to realize that the elderly may not be acclimated to using technology such as smartphones. Only around four-in-ten (42%) adults ages 65 and older report owning smartphones
- Talk to your loved ones about using devices such as LiveSafe to alert pre-designated contacts (e.g. family, neighbors, emergency services) in the event that a serious injury or condition arises.
- Companies such as Consumer Cellular have developed the Doro PhoneEasy 626 specifically for seniors to use.
- Encourage Activity
Remaining active is beneficial to physical, emotional, and mental health.
- Encourage your loved ones to remain mobile with frequent exercise.
- Physical activity does not need to be exhaustive to achieve health benefits. Even a little activity goes a long way!
- Everyone should consult with their physician on the appropriate amount of physical activity they should perform.
- Prescription Safety
Medication related problems can occur for a number of different reasons but the prevalence of these problems is highest in elderly patients using five or more drugs for the treatment of chronic disease. Fortunately, many of the reasons for medication related problems are preventable through planning, attentiveness, and available prescription services.
- The first line of defense is to ensure that each day’s prescription is appropriately labeled and sorted. Pill organizers can save you time and effort.
- Maintain a list of medications your family member is currently taking which is updated whenever there is a change in their prescription.
- Companies such as My-MedPak offer pre-packed medications which are organized by both date and time which saves the effort of sorting medications as well as providing a simple way to tell if a dose was missed.
- Extra Caregiving Support
Providing care for a family member is a stressful job and one that we cannot always be there to perform.
Fortunately, there is always help! Hiring effective in-home caregiving services can provide you with the assurance that your loved one is being cared for while you are at work or away.