Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Safety Goals to Focus on in the New Year

While many people are committing themselves to an exercise regimen or an improved diet as 2014 rolls around, those who care for elderly individuals often have different priorities in mind. When it comes to home care, the professionals of Always Best Care Asheville-Hendersonville explain that safety should remain a priority. In fact, the new year is a great time to re-evaluate the safety of your loved one’s home, allowing you to make necessary changes to protect them.

Safety priorities

As you begin to analyze your elderly loved one’s home, home care professionals advise focusing on the following areas:

  • Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they’re working properly
  • Ensure that there is a fire extinguisher readily accessible
  • Verify that your senior has a well established emergency escape plan in the event of a fire or other unexpected situation
  • Make sure that fireplaces are outfitted with protective screens
  • Verify that the home is properly lit, and check to make sure that bulbs haven’t burnt out near walkways, porches, and outside stairways

Taking care of hazards around the home

Senior care professionals explain that it is important for a caregiver to address any hazards that may exist in an elderly individual’s living space. To do this, attend to the following:

  • Eliminate raised doorway thresholds
  • Get rid of clutter, particularly if it is on the floor where your senior could trip on it
  • Attend to loose carpet that could become a tripping hazard
  • Use nonskid floor wax
  • Shift furniture and electrical cords so that they are not lying where people are walking
  • Add sturdy handrails to stairs
  • Install nightlights in hallways and bathrooms
  • Make sure that the property is cared for, and that snow and ice are taken care of regularly

Bathrooms are another common place where slips and falls occur. To make sure that your senior stays safe in the bathroom, focus on the following:

  • Install shower chairs or bath benches for a safer bathing experience
  • Put grab handles into place in bathrooms
  • Make sure the tub is outfitted with nonskid mats
  • Encourage your senior to get into the shower by putting their weaker leg in first, and suggest that they exit by placing their stronger leg first.

Regardless of your senior’s level of independence, it is always wise to put safety measures in place to prevent accidents from happening as they attend to daily tasks.

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