Your mother may be in her 70s or 80s and is living alone, and while you may provide some level of support for her from time to time, how or where is she about the various safety risks that exist all around? Most people have a tendency to overestimate their physical abilities, regardless of their strength, health issues, or other factors.
Your mother may very well be overestimating her own abilities and is putting herself in harm’s way unnecessarily. Sit down and talk to her about developing a safety checklist that she can keep track of daily.
Here are a few things to put on that checklist that she can look at when she wakes up, before she gets out of bed, and before she goes down for sleep at the end of the day.
One of the most dangerous rooms in the house, the bathroom, has many hazards. If the shower or tub surround does not have grab bars in it, that’s something your mother should consider having installed. She should also check the floor for any wet areas around the sink, tub, or the toilet.
As the temperature increases as we move toward summer, the toilet may sweat and leave pools of water around. If your mother slips while trying to ease down or get back up from the toilet, it can lead to some serious injuries.
Your mother should make sure all knives are sharp. Dull knives actually increase the risk of serious lacerations. She should also consider bringing items from higher up in the cabinets down to within reach so she doesn’t need to get a step ladder.
She should also check to make sure there is no water sitting on the floor around the sink.
Your mother should check all lights throughout the house every evening before going to bed. If a bulb is out, she should keep that in mind if she has to get up in the middle of the night. If she can’t change the bulb on her own, she should ask a neighbor, friend, or family member who lives close by for assistance to do this.
If that’s not practical, a home care aide hired just once a week can be more than enough to help her keep up with this safety checklist.
Every week people should be checking the smoke detectors to ensure they are in proper operating condition. Your mother should do this as well. Again, if she can’t reach it safely, a home care aide can be a great asset.
Pay attention to the stairs.
If your mother is not feeling great one day, she may want to avoid trying to get up and down the stairs in her house. It may be frustrating to avoid doing certain activities, but if it’s important to her, she should consider a home care aide to help.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home care to improve senior home safety in Fairmont, PA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Central Philadelphia. (215) 882-8234.
Prior to joining Assisting Hands, Renato headed Merck’s public policy and corporate responsibility team in Latin America. In 2007, the World Economic Forum granted him the Young Global Leader award, as a recognition for his work on international trade advocacy.
After a series of family health challenges, including severe cases of cancer and dementia, Renato decided to shift his career toward more direct, personal and closer involvement with home- and family-health needs. In the Assisting Hands franchise system, he found the right balance between professional fulfillment and the delivery of compassionate services to the community.
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