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Improving Home Safety for Your Senior Loved One

According to the CDC, 2.5 million seniors in the US are treated in emergency rooms each year due to falling accidents. Of these, more than 700,000 are hospitalized due to falls. For an elderly person living at home, making the house safer is not only a good idea it is a necessity. No home can be made 100 percent safe, but the risk of falls can be greatly reduced by taking some simple precautions suggested by Albuquerque senior care agencies.

Bathroom

• The bath should be lighted at all times, if only with a night light.
• Many baths and showers come with a nonslip surface. If not, make sure a nonslip surface is present. A rubber bath mat can be sufficient, provided it is laid down securely. Appliqués and nonslip strips are available in home improvement stores. They are more permanent than bath mats.
• Grab bars should be installed at the entrance to the bath or shower, inside the bath/shower and at the toilet. It is essential that grab bars are installed correctly due to the weight they are asked to support. It is important that they are bolted to an interior stud in the wall, not merely screwed through drywall. If in doubt, retain a contractor to install them.

Kitchen

• Waxes should be avoided for cleaning or polishing, as should any other substance that creates a slippery surface.
• If throw rugs are used, they should be secured to the floor with double sided tape, or have a non slip rubber backing.
• Though nonskid appliqués are more popular for the bath, they can be used for the kitchen floor. Transparent appliqués are available if appearances are important.
• Counter tops and stoves should be free of clutter.

Outside

• All entrances to the house with one or more steps should have a handrail installed and be properly lighted.
• Ensure that front steps and walkways are promptly cleaned of snow and salt is applied. If necessary, hire a neighbor or other person to perform this task.

In General

• Consider installing motion activated lighting or sound activated lighting to each room of the home. It may be less expensive than it sounds and will provide a lighted pathway for the senior regardless of where he or she is.

All people, including seniors, use furniture to steady themselves while walking throughout the home. Observe your loved one as he or she moves about the house and note what is used for stability or support. Make sure these items are secured to the ground and that the surface is slip free.

Ensure your senior loved one is safe in the comfort of his or her home with help from Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque. Our caregivers are expertly trained and can provide around-the-clock safety monitoring, medication reminders, and help with potentially hazardous tasks like bathing and cooking. To learn more about our care services, including stroke, Alzheimer’s, and Albuquerque dementia care, please call our office at 505-798-0800 and request a free in-home consultation.