In-home accidents are common among aging adults. While you may be unable to completely eliminate the risk of accidents in your senior loved one’s home, there are some things you can do to ensure he or she stays safe. Here are some ways to increase safety for your loved one at home.
Discourage Ladder Use
If your loved one has ceiling fans or crown molding in the home, he or she may need to climb a ladder to dust them. Ladder and step stool accidents are some of the most common causes of household injuries. Always encourage your loved one to ask you for help when ladder chores arise. Most seniors want to maintain their independence, but it’s crucial they avoid climbing ladders, especially if they have pain issues, limited mobility, or cognitive deficits.
For seniors who have difficulty managing everyday tasks in the home, professional caregivers can be a great resource. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care seniors can trust and rely on.
Monitor Medication Side Effects
Certain medications may have dangerous side effects that can raise the risk of accidents or falls in the home. These medications include those used to treat high blood pressure, prescription pain medications, and psychotropic drugs. Side effects from these medications include blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, and weakness. If your loved one takes prescription medications and experiences side effects, let the doctor know so he or she can adjust the dosage or discontinue the drug altogether.
Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Rhode Island respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
Schedule Eye Doctor Visits
Poor vision is another risk factor for accidents in the home. Make an appointment with the eye doctor if your loved one is experiencing vision impairment. Your loved one may need a new eyeglass prescription or have an age-related eye disease such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts. Once the vision impairment has been diagnosed and treated, the risk of in-home accidents may decrease.
In addition to new eyeglass prescriptions, treatments for age-related eye disorders may include eye drops to lower intraocular pressure and cataract removal surgery. If your loved one has diabetic retinopathy, maintaining tight control over blood glucose levels may boost his or her vision. If needed, the eye doctor may refer your loved one to a retinal specialist for further evaluation and treatment of retinopathy. Laser surgery may enhance vision in diabetic seniors and should be considered when visual acuity is very poor.
Repair Uneven Surfaces
If one room has thick carpeting and an adjoining room has a tiled or hardwood surface, your loved one could trip and fall. Uneven surfaces are especially dangerous for those with dementia, poor eyesight, or neurological deficits. Transition strips that even out irregularities in floor heights can be purchased at any home improvement store, and they’re relatively easy to install. In addition to repairing uneven surfaces in the home, you should always make sure your loved one wears properly fitting shoes.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Rhode Island senior home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (401) 284-0979.