Safety is one of the biggest concerns for most caregivers, particularly if their aging adult is insistent on aging in place. Here are some big ways to help your senior stay as safe as possible.
Check Her Footwear
The right footwear makes a huge difference, especially for your aging adult. Her shoes need to be comfortable and fit her well, with a sole that resists skidding on smooth surfaces. It’s a good idea for your elderly family member to wear shoes inside, too, even if that’s a new habit for her. This gives her solid footing, no matter what.
Install Grab Bars
Grab bars are versatile safety tools for bathrooms, hallways, and anywhere else that your senior might need to reach out and hold something secure. If you’re installing them yourself, make sure that you’re using wall anchors and attaching them according to the instructions that come with the grab bars themselves.
Bump up the Lights
Improved lighting can make a world of difference, especially if your elderly family member is having trouble with her vision. Change out light bulbs for the brightest ones that the lighting fixture can support. If necessary, consider adding additional lamps, too. The more lighting that your elderly family member has access to, the better for her overall safety.
Move Items within Easier Reach
Even if certain items have been in a particular location for years and years, that doesn’t mean that they have to stay there. This is particularly true if that location is inconvenient or dangerous for your elderly family member. When you tackle this project, look at what locations are easiest for your senior to reach and what items she uses most often.
Encourage Use of Assistive Devices
Many aging adults avoid using assistive devices like canes or even grabbers because they make her “look old” or infirm. But the reality is that if those tools help her and can keep her a little bit safer, then they’re definitely something that she needs to be using regularly. If the tool is difficult for her to use, then an occupational or physical therapist might be able to help her learn proper technique.
Your elderly family member can also benefit from having home care providers with her during the day. They can be on the lookout for safety concerns while also offering companionship and assistance with daily tasks. When they spot anything that could be an issue, they can bring it to your attention before the situation worsens.