Photo by Esther Town from Unsplash
Old people are susceptible to all kinds of injuries because of their brittle bones and less agile body. That’s why if you’re living with old folks, you may need to make a few adjustments to your home. This is to minimize accidents such as falls and slips.
As you read on, you will learn the best ways you can improve your home’s safety so you can protect your parents, grandparents or other elder relatives from accidents and injuries.
Work on your damaged flooring
It’s easy to trip or fall because of cracks, dents or other imperfections on the floor. If you have a damaged flooring, you should consider repairing it at the soonest possible time. You may need to remove cracked ceramic tiles or replace the damaged wood panel.
You should also try using a carpet to provide additional cushioning on the floor. Just make sure that you install it properly so it won’t cause your old loved ones to fall or trip. To get rid of loose edges, use tacks or tapes.
If you’re already using a carpet or other similar material, make sure that it’s not frayed. Otherwise, have it replaced right away.
Keep everything well-organized
A cluttered space is a big no-no for old people. Toys, pens and other small material scattered on the floor can cause major accidents, most especially to elderly people. These small bits of things can also damage the mobility equipment of your loved one.
Make it a habit to keep the house well organized at all time. Use boxes to organize, cabinets or drawers as storage spaces. If you have kids, train them to put away their toys after use.
Photo by Patrick Perkins from Unsplash
Be careful when using an oxygen tank
Some elderly people need to use an oxygen tank for their treatment. If your relative uses one, you should never do any of the following things:
- Use an oxygen tank in the balcony or kitchen
- Smoke while inhaling oxygen
- Adjust the flow rate
- Place the tank in the trunk of a car
- Use electrical device while on oxygen therapy
- Splice the oxygen tube without consent from the physician
Supplemental oxygen is not flammable. However, you have to be extra careful in handling the tanks or administering it to your loved one. If the oxygen level is too high in a room, flammable materials like linens and clothing can easily catch fire.
Don’t wear loose clothing in the kitchen
Majority of aging individuals like wearing loose clothing because these are more breathable as compared to a tight-fitting garment.
However, if your aging loved one likes to work with you in the kitchen, better advise him/her to change into fitting clothes. This way, he/she can avoid getting burnt because the sleeves of his/her clothing caught fire.
Say no to overloaded electrical circuits
Deadly fires often start from overloaded electrical circuits. Here are some key signs that you’re overloading the circuits:
- The lights often dim, blink or flicker
- You smell a burning scent from the outlets
- The fuse often gets blown
- Receptacles often buzz, crackle or sizzle
If you notice any of these signs above, you should call an electrician.
Wipe spills right away
Major injuries such as pelvic fracture, sprains, and spinal injury often result from slipping.
Younger individuals tend to recover from such injuries fast while older individuals often suffer from a longer recovery period. Minimize accidents by wiping spills and leaks as soon as possible.
Add non-skid mats and grab bars in the toilet
Bathroom tiles tend to be very slippery, most especially if you don’t have time to maintain it. To prevent accidents and other horrific incidents in the toilet, you can install safety equipment like grab bars and non-skid mats.
If your parent or grandparent uses a wheelchair or other mobility equipment, we suggest installing toilet safety frames or using a raised toilet seat.
Consider making minor adjustments in the kitchen
If your elderly family member loves lending a hand in the kitchen, you must consider placing all the commonly used items and ingredients in easy to reach places. You can either install a new open shelf or place a multi-layer tray.
Make sure to close every closet and drawer
Aside from suffering from fractures, seniors easily get bruised. To ensure that your senior loved one doesn’t suffer from a sad and tragic fate, always keep the closet and drawers shut tight. Also, avoid putting too much stuff inside the cabinet or drawer so they won’t hang open.
Place a flashlight by their bedside
Sometimes, old folks wander off to the kitchen late at night to satisfy their midnight cravings for sweets and whatnot. Instead of waking up the entire household, they tend to leave the lights switched off and walk into the dark. That’s why it could greatly benefit them if you place a flashlight by their bedside.
Photo by Nathan Van Egmond from Unsplash
Your old folks deserve all the love and attention that you can give. Making a few adjustments to your home such as those ideas we enumerated above can help improve the quality of life of your senior loved ones. Which of these ideas did you like? What other ideas do you have in mind?