Making Your Home Safer
Independence is important to everyone, starting the day they take their first step. The feeling of freedom and having the ability to do and go anywhere is wonderful! However, as we age, we begin to lose our freedoms and even being in our own homes can become unsafe. Nearly 90% of individuals over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible, according to a research report by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute. As we age our bodies begin to turn against us and no longer want to run the way we once did, and we need a little help making sure our environment is safe to help avoid any unnecessary accidents or falls.
One way to ensure you have a safe home is to walk through and look for ways you can fall and hurt yourself. Clutter on the floor, such as, books, newspapers and magazines, electrical cords, pet dishes, and small furniture are all things that could cause an accident and should be removed or reorganized to avoid being a hazard. Make sure there is plenty of room to get around the furniture, if you have to turn sideways to get past the arm chair you could very easily lose your balance and fall. If need be, downsize your furniture a little, there is probably at least one piece of furniture you can do without in your home. Do you have hardwood floors and rugs? Make sure the rugs are securely fastened to the floor, and the ends are not frayed or folding up. If you have carpet, make sure it is in good condition with no rips or holes along the edges where you could get a shoe or toe stuck. Clean up spills immediately and make sure the area is completely dry; a small wet spot could turn into a major accident. Poor lighting both inside and outside of your home can attribute to falls, make sure you get someone to change your lights as soon as they burn out, and if needed add more lights to make it easier to see the things around you. Having a light within reach of your bed and night lights in the bathroom and hallways will help when getting up during the night. Make sure to have a flashlight next to your bed in case of a power outage, and check it every six months to ensure the batteries are working. If you have stairs, make sure you have a strong rail installed on both sides of your stairs if you can, and keep your stairs area well maintained and clutter free, do not leave mail, newspapers, magazines, or other clutter that can cause you to fall. Your bathroom is a big hazard if not properly safeguarded. Make sure you have non-slip mats inside and outside of the tub and hand rails inside and out. To help prevent hazards in the kitchen, such as fires started when a burner is left on, there are a number of options. You might consider temperature-controlled cookware. If cooking becomes a difficult task, it may be time to simply avoid the stove. The microwave for heating meals is a safer alternative. If the individual has memory issues, sometimes it is best to just disconnect the stove so there are no concerns of an accident. For eating and drinking, a travel mug is great for carrying beverages to avoid spills, lightweight dishes and silverware are a good idea, and adding nonslip mats to counter-tops and under small appliances can be helpful as well. If you do live alone and do not have anyone checking in on you, some sort of alert system should be in the home. There are non-invasive alert systems that you can wear on your wrist and around your neck and if you have an emergency you have a way to call for help. There are many ways you can stay in your home longer while still making sure you are staying safe, but it is important that you take the safety precautions necessary to ensure you will be able to stay in your home for years to come!
In-Home care services are incredibly valuable to keep you at home for as long as you want. In-Home care companies offer an array of services from light housekeeping, meal preparation, and medication management, to games and routines focused on memory care, as well as exercise and outings, and many more services and options. In-Home care will help to keep you safe and in your home for years to come. Please give us a call and we would be happy to recommend the right In-Home care company for your needs.
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We specialize in helping families with Assisted Living, Residential Home Placement and In-Home Care Services.
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