If you are relocating your aging parents or loved ones, the first thing on your list should be to make sure their home is safe. With very few modifications, you can assure yourself and your loved one that their new home is safe and comfortable.
BATHROOM SAFETY TIPS
The bathroom, by and far, is where the majority of slip and fall accidents occur within a household. This holds true much more so for an aging individual who is struggling with health issues such as loss of balance. Here are a few things to consider adjusting with regard to safety.
Waterproof medical alert device
A shower chair
Flexible/removable shower attachment
A sturdy grab bar that will support the full weight of an adult
Non-skid tape or mats for the bottom of bathtub/shower
Set water heater temperature to no more than 120°
Raised-height seats are available for installation on your toilet in order to reduce the distance one has to move in order to sit down
Medical alert device near the toilet
You may want to consider replacing the faucet handles in your shower or sink with an ADA-compliant faucet, especially if your loved one has problems with arthritis in their hands or other physical limitations.
Shelves and Storage
A few nice caddies will work for your loved ones toiletries and such. Provide one for the shower area and another to sit on a shelf or else beside the bathroom sink so it’s easy to locate any essentials.
Easily assessable cabinets or shelves for towels, wash cloths and even a hair dryer.
KITCHEN SAFETY TIPS
Besides the bathroom, the kitchen can be an equally dangerous place in the home for an aging individual. Advising your loved one of the following tips can be helpful in keeping them safe.
Always keep the handle of your pans turned away from the edge of the stove and away from the other burners.
Unplug counter appliances when not in use.
Keep cabinet doors closed at all times (both those above and below the counter level)
Keep your dishwasher front closed. Do not leave it open and walk about. Tripping over an opened dishwasher is a major cause of accidents in any household.
Care in opening cans. Cutting oneself while opening a can of food has been cited by one source as a major cause of visits to the ER by the elderly.
Ditto on the ADA-approved faucets for the kitchen sink (see above under Bathroom faucets)
Advise not to wear loose fitting clothing or ones with long, loose sleeves while cooking.
There are several items you can get to add to bedroom safety for your senior.
Bed rails or guards
Adjusting height of bed for easier access
Remove rugs or else use non-skid rugs. Remember, rugs can cause one to trip as well, so use with caution
Bedside table to store necessary personal items (and for ease of access)
Handy lamp for bedside table. A touch lamp is a nice idea here.
Keep a clear path from the bed to the bathroom. No clutter to walk around.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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