How to Make Your Home Safer for Your Elderly Parents

How to Make Your Home Safer for Your Elderly Parents

Are your parents at an age where they are no longer able to care for themselves? Having your elderly parents move in with you may be a difficult decision at first, but there can be a number of benefits that come with this decision. One of the best benefits is that having your parents with you will significantly lessen your worries about their safety and it will give you the opportunity to spend time with them in their later years. Here a few tips for that will help to ensure your elderly parents safety are safe and comfortable in their new home.

Bathroom Safety

Bathrooms can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, so when it comes to safety planning, this is the best place to start. Getting up from the toilet seat can be difficult for the elderly, so if possible, consider installing an elevated toilet seat. Bathroom floors are often slippery, which prevents a fall risk. Installing grab bars in front of or next to the toilet as well as in the shower will help reduce the risk of falls. Placing a non-skid bath mat next to the shower will also help to reduce slipping when stepping out of the shower.

Safe Flooring

One of the most common causes of injuries among the elderly is tripping. To help prevent tripping and falling, make sure the floors are safe by removing any hazards. For example, remove all area rugs that do not have a non-skid backing, especially rugs that are on hardwood flooring. If your parents use a walker, place tennis balls on the bottom of the legs to provide leverage and prevent slipping. Make sure carpeting is securely tacked down and that there are no loose yarns that may cause falls.

Eliminate Clutter

Clutter, especially on the floor, presents a fall hazard. Use inexpensive baskets or bins to organize things as well as help with quick cleanups. For example, if there are small children in the home, designate baskets or bins for each child to put their toys in-this will keep items off the floor and help the kids stay organized with their toys.

Kitchen Safety

Reaching for items can often be a struggle, so consider putting commonly used items in easy reach. For example, place the microwave on the counter or a cart to prevent stretching to reach a microwave that is installed on the wall. Check the water temperature to ensure hot water is a safe temperature and make sure faucets are easy to turn on and off. If memory loss is a concern, consider taking the knobs off of the stove when you will be away from home-this will help prevent the risk of fire when things being cooked on the stove are forgotten. Make sure all everyday items, such a eating utensils, are within easy reach.

Bringing your parents to live with you is a serious decision for everyone involved, so make sure to discuss the situation with everyone. It is important to not spring the information on your parents or the rest of your family. Regardless of how close your family members are, living together can be frustrating and stressful. It is essential that you discuss the changes with your family, explain the safety concerns and ask your family to pitch in with making the necessary changes. Keep in mind that this will also be a difficult decision for your parents. Their comfort is as important as their safety, so it is important to incorporate as many of their personal things as possible into their new home.

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