How to Help Seniors be Safe at Home
After a stay in a hospital or care facility, patients are often thrilled to receive continued care at home. Imagine being back in your house or apartment after days, weeks or months of being treated for an injury or illness. Everything seems familiar. You’re surrounded by good memories – not to mention the people, pets and belongings you love.
Santé Home Health Care is an excellent option for seniors, and patients of all ages, who want to retain their independence. Skilled nurses can administer medications, treatments or tests in the comfort of your home, while home health aides (HHAs) assist with daily tasks and light housekeeping. Our dedicated team is there to help patients transition back to life at home.
Even if your loved one is receiving in-home care, it’s important that their environment be safe and secure. Here are some important tips for ensuring a family member’s safety at home.
- Install safety features: Adding handrails in the bathroom and tub can go a long way in protecting patients at home. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injury in the elderly, affecting about 25% of seniors every year. Many of their injuries require an emergency room visit or hospitalization. Smoke detectors, alarm systems, brighter light bulbs and landlines are among the other items family members should consider installing.
- Encourage the use of assistive devices: While some patients are resistant to the idea of carrying a cane, or using a walker, consistent use of mobility aids like these can help stave off injury. Try to have fun with it. Decorate your mom’s walker with photos of her grandkids, or purchase a dignified vintage cane for your dapper grandfather.
- Keep danger out of reach: While you want your loved one to enjoy the freedom and independence of being at home, you also want to ensure their safety. Review the AARP Safety Checklist for typical causes for concern. Tuck knives, scissors and other sharp implements out of reach. Arrange furniture with plenty of space for movement, and check electrical outlets and devices for safety.
- Post-It up: Sticky note reminders are often used for patients in the early stages of dementia. However, these handy directions can be useful for anyone recovering from an accident or illness. Afraid your sister will reach for linens on a high closet shelf and set her recovery back? Post a sticky note reminding her extra quilts are by the bed, or to ask for help changing the sheets.
Many of our recommended changes are easy to make. However, if you’re stumped for how to adapt your loved one’s living space or need additional recommendations, it’s always wise to consult a professional. Santé’s occupational therapists are happy to provide suggestions for adapting your home to the patient’s needs. For more information on safety and home health care options, call 480-563-2402 or contact us online.