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Elderly parents at home living with their children and washing a carrot

Home Safety Tips for Seniors Who Live Alone

Living a long life is a blessing! You get to see your children and grandchildren grow older and partake in many of life’s other joys. However, as you age, your mobility may become limited, which restricts you from doing the things you once loved.
Watching a parent or other family member go through the aging process can be heart wrenching, especially when they are no longer able to care for themselves. There is something you can do for them, however.  You can obtain in-home care so they can stay close to family, while still getting the help they need.
It’s also important to educate your loved one on how to stay safe while they are living alone. Accidents and falls can occur, especially if in-home care is only supplied during the daytime hours.  Here are a few tips that you should remember to make your loved one safer while living at home. 

Fix Hazards Around the Home 

You can think of this like child-proofing the home. Identify of all the potential hazards that can harm your loved one, such as wiring sprawled across the floor from telephones, cable lines and electronics. Find a way to run these cords safely along walls so that no one trips and falls and take other precautions as necessary. 

Remodel the Bathroom 

Another area to focus on is the bathroom – this is where many slip and falls occur among the elderly. You can install mats throughout the bathroom, such as near the toilet, shower stall and bathtub. You should also install grip bars near the toilet and inside of the tub and shower area to prevent a fall.
Some decide to install a shower stall that has no curb to step over to make it easier to get out. You can also find a bathtub with a door on the side that can be used to get in and out without having to climb inside.
The lighting in the bathroom should also be bright so your family member can see easily. Also, place any regularly used items within reach to eliminate the need for a step ladder. 

Make the Kitchen More Accessible 

If you’re loved one is going to be without in-home care for a period of time during the day or night, you should make it easier for them to get access to items they use most often in the kitchen. If needed, cabinets and counters can be lowered (ideal for those now in a wheelchair). The lighting in the kitchen should be bright and there should be minimal clutter on the floor.
You can mark the on and off positions on appliances using bright colors, so they know when things have been properly turned off. You can also buy devices that turn off automatically, including kettles.
All sharp utensils should be kept in a rack and all hazardous items should be kept away from food items, such as cleaning supplies and pesticides. Let them know to avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking and preparing food to limit the risk of fire. 

Take Medications Safely 

Some elderly folks start to lose their memory, which can make it difficult to take medications on time. They may skip a day, or even take too many pills, forgetting they had already taken their daily dose. Make sure to label all of the medications with comprehensive instructions. You can also use pill dispensers that are marked by the day of the week. You or someone else you trust can fill it each week so they take all the pills needed each day. If needed, we offer services just for this. Click here to read more.

Lead a Healthier Lifestyle 

It’s never too late to start improving your lifestyle. You can encourage your loved one to engage in healthy activities, like yoga, walking, swimming and biking. For easy at-home exercises, click here. A healthier diet can also help reduce symptoms of certain illnesses and prevent the onset of others. You can hire an in-home caregiver who can monitor them during physical activities and help prepare healthy meals and snacks. 

Socialize and Check In 

It’s very important for seniors to engage in an active social life. If they are unable to drive, you can arrange for them to be picked up and dropped off at bridge club, bingo or other gatherings. They can also host small gatherings in their home.
Make sure that your loved one can easily check in with you throughout the week, as needed. A medical alert or buddy system should also be included in case of an emergency.