Keep Your Elderly Parents Safe At Home01 Feb 2021
If your elderly parents are living with you or independently, safety should be a priority.
Your home or theirs might seem harmless at first glance, but there are actually hidden risks that may not be obvious initially. For example, elderly adults are more prone to slip and fall accidents caused by slippery floors, clutter or uneven thresholds. These risks can make it difficult for your aging loved ones to go about their daily routines safely.
A few adjustments around the house can make a huge difference. Here are some suggestions on how to create a safer home environment for your elderly loved ones:
1. Prevent clutter
One of the easiest ways to prevent falls is to keep your home neat and tidy.
Avoid clutter on the floor, especially in hallways and staircases. Remove any stacks of newspapers, books and magazines. Keep electrical cords, telephone wires and your children or pets’ toys away from walking paths.
2. Safety proof slippery surfaces
Bathrooms are often considered fall danger zones for the elderly as the surfaces become slippery after frequent use.
Slip-proof these surfaces by placing non-slip mats or anti-slip adhesive stickers onto surfaces that are likely to get wet. And install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet.
3. Prevent poisoning
Poor eyesight and a sense of smell among older people make them more prone to food and other types of accidental poisoning such as an unintentional ingestion of medication.
Ensure all food is cleaned, cooked and stored properly. Keep eggs, poultry, raw meat and seafood separate until they are cooked as they carry the risk for food poisoning.
Store all medicines, toiletries, cosmetics and household cleaners carefully, and have them labelled clearly.
When your elderly loved ones are taking their medications, make sure they do so under adequate lighting and use their glasses or contact lenses to prevent wrong dosage.
4. Enable easier access for areas they frequent most
Your elderly loved ones should have a living space that not only feels comfortable but is also easily accessible.
You may want to consider modifying certain areas of the home to accommodate their needs, such as widening doorways so that they can pass through using their wheelchair or walker; or adjusting the heights of the kitchen cabinets and sink so that they can reach for utensils and appliances more easily.
5. Have emergency numbers at hand
Always keep a list of emergency numbers next to the phone. Type out the list using a large font size and print it out so that it can be read easily.
Be sure to include these numbers in your list:
- 999 (Police and Ambulance)
- 994 (Fire Department)
- 112 (if calling from mobile phone)
- Mobile numbers of all family members
- Home and mobile numbers of close friends
- Your healthcare provider’s office
In addition to these safety precautions, do also ensure that your elderly loved ones ’ medical insurance policies are up to date so that they will have timely access to medical & hospitalisation funds when they need it. Check out affordable and comprehensive medical insurance plans here.