Regular Caregivers Best For Senior Safety

Regular Caregivers Best For Senior Safety

Staircases can grace the inside of a house and even display craftsmanship. But for seniors who want to continue living in their own residence, staircases can rank as the place where most accidents occur in the home. One safety measure according to Tamara Kato of Comfort Keepers in Arcadia, California, includes using light sensitive night lights in unlit stairwells, hallways and placing light switches at doorways. Having the same caregiver consistently who interacts and consults with seniors on a variety of issues is beneficial not only for safety but also for the overall quality of life in and around a house.

“A safety checklist is helpful to follow. But having a quality relationship with someone who interacts as part of the daily routine gives a greater sense of satisfaction,” says Tamara, “Seniors may have children who are well-intentioned but who are too busy to regularly check in on their parents. Having a caregiver who prompts conversations and joins in everyday tasks is stimulating.”

A skilled caregiver will learn the daily habits and routine of the person they’re watching and then they’ll be able to spot and even take action on areas that could compromise safety.

Here are other tips both indoors and outdoors:

LIVING ROOMS

o Remove extension cords, throw rugs and other tripping hazards

o Use light sensitive night lights in unlit stairwells and hallways.

o Place light switches at doors to prevent walking in the dark.

o Install smoke alarms in every room and test the batteries regularly.

KITCHENS

o Use heating elements that shut off such as electric burners on the stove.

o Keep fire extinguishers handy.

o Only use sturdy step stools with handles and use poles for reaching.

o Keep vents clean of grease.

BATHROOMS

o Modify baths with tub cutaways.

o Install grab bars.

o Install higher toilets to assist in standing and sitting.

o Apply non-slip strips to bathtubs.

o Use shower seats with back and portable shower heads.

o Paint with contrasting colors.

CRIME PREVENTION

o Keep doors and windows locked. Use peep holes. Never open your door automatically.

o Notify neighbors and the police when going away on a trip.

o Never leave notes on your front door.

o Be suspicious of offers from unknown contractors to do home repairs. Only work with reputable businesses.

Underwriters Laboratories reports that up to one million people over age 65 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with using everyday, household items.

Tamara Kato emphasizes another area of senior safety – taking medications correctly. 33% of all hospitalizations of people age 65 and older are taking medications improperly. Don’t hesitate or feel embarrassed to ask for help in reading labels or being reminded on the correct dosages.

“A safety checklist is helpful to follow. But having a quality relationship with someone who interacts as part of the daily routine gives a greater sense of satisfaction,” says Tamara, “Seniors may have children who are well-intentioned but who are too busy to regularly check in on their parents. Having a caregiver who prompts conversations and joins in everyday tasks is stimulating.”

Quality caregivers can offer help in routinely inspecting the home environment for safety issues as one part of their care offering. A range of non-medical services can help a senior not only remain in their home, but stay active and satisfied.