In Homestead and across Southern Florida, many seniors are living an excellent quality of life, thanks in part to medical and tech innovations. The elderly are now able to live interpedently for longer and some families choose to have elderly loved ones move in with them when they need some case.
Whether you are the family member of a senior living alone or are a caregiver for an elderly family member living with you, home poses a number of hazards for seniors, from falls to slippery shower floors. Here are things you can do to make home safer for a senior:
- Reduce debris on the floor: Small items left on the floor and even stepping stools can be in a person’s blind spot and can become a tripping hazard. Keep floors, walkways, and stairs clear. Clean up any spills or dropped items right away.
- Create no-slip surfaces on floors: Throw away rugs that can move or cause a fall hazard, and instead apply non-slip wax or no-slip textured strips on floors.
- Create a safer bathroom: Install a high-profile toilet with a grab bar nearby. In the shower, place a waterproof seat designed for safer washing up, and add no-slip strips in and around the tub and shower. If a senior wants to use a bathmat, make sure it’s rubber-backed and won’t slide. If your budget allows, renovate the bathroom so it includes a step-in shower or tub.
- Install alarm or monitoring systems: A personal alarm system can be a handy way to call for help in the event of a fall and can make a senior feel more confident and independent. A voice-activated assistant or smart home features also make a home accessible by allowing someone to open the door, turn lights on and off, and more just by speaking.
- Review medications and glasses regularly: Eye care and medication needs change over time and poor eyesight or unintended medicine side effects can affect balance and mobility.
- Add good lighting: Bright lights and more lamps can light walkways, stairs, and other areas to let an elderly loved one get around safely.
- Talk about shoes: Shoes can reduce the risk of falls. Look for well-fitted shoes with sturdy soles and good treads.
- Review driving ability regularly: If a senior is having near-misses or has had more than one fender-bender, ask a doctor or professional for an evaluation. It may be possible to have a vehicle adapted to make it easier to use if someone’s mobility is reduced, for example.
- Consider stairs: Make sure any stairways are very well-lit and have sturdy, reliable railings on both sides of the stairs. If a senior lives in a home with stairs and is experiencing mobility or health issues, consider relocating their bedroom to a downstairs area. Another option may be to install a motorized lift that can get seniors and even their wheelchairs up and down the stairs safely.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There may come a time when you can no longer care for a loved one in home and a full-time nursing staff is needed. When this happens, placing a family member in a well-researched and carefully-chosen nursing home can be one of the safer options.
If your loved one is affected by nursing home abuse and neglect or an unsafe product, you can contact Flaxman Law Group 866-352-9626 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with an injury attorney. You can also contact us online with questions.