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Personal Home Care Providers Not Only Help Seniors Stay In Their Homes, But Do So Safely

Aging is an inevitable part of life and, unfortunately, it often means giving up many of the things a person has enjoyed over the years. Sometimes, that means giving up the house that they've spent years in. According to an AARP "Home and Community Preferences Survey," three quarters of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes or communities for as long as possible. By hiring an in home health care professional, it might be possible for them to stay in their own home longer, possibly the rest of their lives. But there are still everyday safety hazards to consider.  A home healthcare services provider can help make modifications and offer advice for improving the safety of the senior's surroundings.

The following tips are for individuals who still have some standing mobility, even though they might need a cane or walker. For those seniors confined to a wheelchair, more extensive renovations are required.

Falling hazards

Accidental falls are a major cause of injuries for older adults. Balance issues, leg and knee problems, and even cognitive issues can leave seniors prone to falls, and the results can be extremely serious. Stairs can be especially hard to navigate, so try to ensure that everything they need is on one level and install gates on stairways if necessary. If avoiding stairs isn't possible, put non-slip treads on stairs. Also apply the treads to slippery floors, as well as in the bath and shower. Put shower bars in the bath to prevent falls while bathing or showering, and get rid of throw rugs that can cause a person to trip. Unfortunately, pets can get underfoot and cause a person to fall, so you may need to confine animals to a specific area.

Kitchen hazards

The most obvious kitchen hazard is the stove. Gas stoves, with their open flames, are especially dangerous. If an older adult is alone at mealtimes, it's best to have microwavable or cold food items available. Otherwise burns or fires can result. Because seniors with cognitive issues may forget to turn off burners or appliances, put up red warning signs at kitchen exits to remind them. Also, use appliances with automatic shutoff timers and make sure there is a working fire alarm and fire extinguisher close by. It's also important to keep commonly used foods and utensils within easy reach to avoid having to reach or bend over. Even food safety can be a concern for those with cognitive impairment. Not properly storing, cooking, or refrigerating foods can cause serious diseases, so keep an eye on what's in the refrigerator or other storage places and discuss the importance of food safety and spoilage with your in home senior.

Other modifications for the elderly

Older adults, especially those with arthritis, may have difficulty turning doorknobs. Replace frequently used doorknobs with levers, which are easier to use. Also, many seniors have some vision impairment so to reduce stumbles or collisions, install auxiliary lighting in hallways, stairs, and counters.

With so many seniors opting to remain in their own homes, it's nice that home care services providers can make that possible. But it's also important to make adjustments to their environment to reduce the everyday hazards that can threaten their safety and put an end to their in home living. To learn more about senior in home care services, contact a professional service near you.