Creating a Safe Space for an Older Relative

How to make your home safer for an older relative.

To safely grow old in our own homes, a few modifications may be required to ensure your elderly relatives can continue to live independently without complications.

Safety precautions

Begin by examining specific safety issues that your relative may face, and then devise a solution to the problem. For example, an elderly relative suffering from dementia may benefit from appliances that turn off automatically if left unattended.

Fire Protection

It is essential to ensure their home has things like carbon monoxide and gas detectors and fire alarms, and check that such devices are ready and working. These tasks may appear minor, but they are critical to home safety.

  • Don’t leave lit candles unattended
  • Look out for damaged cords on electrical appliances
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from water to prevent electric shocks
  • Install a smoke detector and test it at least once a month – these are the most effective way to protect yourself from fire

Eliminate the risk of falls.

Stairways are a common location for a fall; adding safety steps with treads and secure handrails can help. Furthermore, throw rugs can be an unexpected hazard – while they are pretty, they can be unstable, and catching your foot on the edge of a rug can result in a fall. Consider removing or replacing with carpet. Moreover, placing a wireless telephone handset in each room is also a good idea to ensure that an emergency phone is always nearby and fully charged.

Bathroom Safety Measures

  • Install grab bars to provide extra support while entering and exiting the shower/bathroom and using the toilet.
  • To avoid scalds and burns, set the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • Consider installing a comfort-height toilet or adding a toilet seat riser to your existing toilet.

Keep emergency contact information handy.

Keep a list of emergency phone numbers near each phone. Write this information in large enough print for your relative to read if they are in a hurry or frightened.

  • 999
  • Name and phone number for an emergency contact (family or friend)
  • Number of the healthcare provider’s office.

Make a Support Network

A support network is critical for ensuring that an elderly parent can remain safely at home. Checking in on your elderly relative(s) on a regular basis to ensure their well-being and safety provides reassurance for everyone.

To find out more about how HCL can support you and your loved one, please Contact Us and one of our team members will be in touch.

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