Your aging mother or father might not be as safe as you’d like to believe. Even though they seem fine, you visit every once in a while, and they don’t complain, that doesn’t mean they are safe. The older people are, the more likely their safety has been compromised in one way or another.
Home care can certainly make a difference and improve safety for seniors, but if elderly men and women don’t recognize the risks they face daily and their family doesn’t, either, then they are far less likely to even think about home care to begin with.
So, what are some of the common safety hazards your aging mother or father, or both, might be facing right now, at this time?
1. Loose steps.
If there is a second floor or even a basement or entry steps into their house, what if one of the steps is loose? It might not seem like a big deal when you are stronger, younger, and healthier, but for somebody who’s balance is not the same as it was in their younger years, it can cause them to shift just a little bit.
That tiny shift in their gait can throw them off balance. It can cause them to fall over, tumble up or down stairs, and be injured, sometimes seriously.
It is so important that people pay attention to even the loosest step, even the slightest little twitch because, when somebody does not have the same balance they did in their younger years, it could throw them off.
2. A slick tub.
You know what it feels like after you spray some kind of cleaning solution in the bathtub or shower, wipe it down, and then step in and have your foot slide just a little bit? Sometimes, you may have experienced this when you slipped quite a bit.
Whether you fell down or not is irrelevant. Somebody in their 70s, 80s, or 90s who slips while stepping into or out of the shower or tub, even ever-so-slightly in the middle of their bathing routine, they can fall and be seriously injured.
You can apply nonslip pads in the tub or shower as well as grab bars, or you can talk about having a home care aide support them so they can be safe, somebody to hold onto while stepping in and out, and make sure they don’t need anything in the middle of their shower.
3. Stubborn windows.
If somebody lives in a house or apartment and the windows are extremely difficult to open or close, they might not enjoy fresh air very often. Or, if they manage to open them early in the day to allow a nice breeze to move through their home, they might not be able to close them in the evening.
What happens when the temperature drops overnight? The interior of the house can get cold. That can cause potential health issues for some people.
These are all safety hazards and when you talk about them, also talk about home care. No, a home care aide isn’t going to make those safety risks go away, but they can be a support to help the senior face them properly.