When it comes to home safety for seniors there are many things to consider on a daily basis. For those who still live independently, making sure that all the proper safety precautions are met is one thing, but ensuring proper caregiver home safety practices is another. Whether someone is hired to care for a loved one or that role has fallen to you, there are specific considerations that can help things run smoothly.
With in-home care and aging in place options becoming more popular among seniors and their families, any home can benefit from senior friendly modifications. This doesn’t exactly mean a remodeling, but rather identifying areas for improvement from both your loved one’s perspective as well as their caregiver’s side of things.
Caregiver Home Safety Main Tips
To start, mobility is one of the most essential aspects of any senior-friendly home and requires an understand of your loved one’s specific needs. Even if a caregiver themselves is very able-bodied and able to navigate a household, it’s much better that the environment is as accessible as possible in the case of an emergency. This can include:
- Zero-threshold entrances (easy for wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices)
- Clutter free hallways and open spaces
- Easy to use doorknobs or handles
- Secure railings
- Non-slip mats or rugs
- Well-lit areas
Seniors who have lived in their homes for decades can sometimes become blind to safety hazards that may seem very obvious to others. If you’re hiring a caregiver for a home care option, be sure to communicate some of the exact concerns you have about your senior loved one’s living space. Then, when a caregiver comes along, it’s likely that they will be able to point out where improvements can be made, however, it’s not always safe to assume that this will be the case.
Hiring someone who is trustworthy, a great interpersonal communicator, and trained in the specifics of senior care is the best way to ensure in-home senior safety. And yet they can only do their job so well given the environment a senior is living in. As mentioned above, it’s important to keep the household accessible, while at the same time making sure everything is secure.
Taking the Right Precautions
One of the most important areas to make senior-friendly and take safety precautions is the bathroom. Every year, 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 experience a fall, with this area being a common hazard. Caregivers must absolutely be trained in responding to senior falls, knowing how to prevent and respond in the case of an injury. Again, securing mats, as well as having adequate lighting, handrails, and working doors are essential aspects of senior bathroom safety.
Proper caregiver home safety is something that requires cooperation and lots of precautionary planning. Putting one’s self in the place of a senior is a way to understand how a home could be made safer. Things like labeling medications clearly, keeping important phone numbers available at all times, and ensuring that the home is a place you would want to live yourself.