Imagine sitting in your family room, miles from your aging parents’ residence. Time passes, and as time goes on, you find yourself managing their care from a distance: distance prevents being present physically to ensure their well-being, yet you need assurances they’re fully protected and safe in their home. In this blog post, we cover home safety for elderly parents and discuss strategies that ensure they remain protected within those four walls they call home. From managing fall prevention measures to overseeing medications, we will navigate the waters of home safety for your aging parents.

Assembling A Safe Haven

Attaining safety for aging parents is vital when distance keeps you apart physically. By being vigilant about potential dangers and taking proactive measures against potential hazards, you can ensure they can live comfortably at home with confidence. Here are a few key steps for creating an oasis for them to call their own.

Home Safety Evaluation

At the outset of any home safety evaluation, pay particular attention to cleanliness and clutter. Clearing away objects in walkways, ensuring adequate lighting levels, removing trip hazards such as loose tiles from stairs or bathrooms, and installing handrails/grab bars where appropriate are essential to minimize falls or accident risks. Finally, it would be prudent to declutter their living spaces to reduce accidents occurring more easily.

One essential consideration is home security. Urge your parents to install an effective security system incorporating burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors; such a setup can give vital protection and provide peace of mind, even when they’re far away.

Preventing Falls: A Priority

Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries among older adults. To mitigate falls effectively and ensure they continue living comfortably in their environment, taking preventive steps must begin with carefully evaluating their living space to identify hazards such as loose rugs, slippery floors, and uneven surfaces. These concerns can be addressed by using double-sided tape on loose carpets, installing non-slip mats in bathrooms and kitchens, and providing handrails or grab bars when appropriate.

Proper lighting plays an essential part in fall prevention, so ensure both inside and outside their home are illuminated well, replace any dim or flickering bulbs quickly, and consider installing motion-activated lights to add convenience and safety.

Regular exercise can also play an integral role in strengthening and stabilizing physical strength and balance, decreasing the risk of falls. You could encourage your parents to engage in low-impact exercises such as walking or water aerobics for fall prevention purposes and arrange physical therapy as required. Achieving overall well-being through healthy lifestyle habits with routine check-ups will go a long way toward safeguarding them against falls.

Kitchen Safety: Avoiding Potential Hazards

Kitchens can be hectic places that demand extra care in terms of safety for aging parents. Start by organizing their space to place commonly used items within easy reach so there will be less need for reaching or climbing, then ensure all appliances work smoothly with automatic shutoff features for added peace of mind.

Set water heater temperatures to 120 degrees F (49 degrees C). Encourage parents to wear oven mitts or pot holders when handling hot dishes or cookware, install safety knobs on stove burners to protect from accidental spills or fires, and consider investing in induction cooktops that offer safer management.

Fire extinguishers should be accessible and regularly maintained in the kitchen. Educating your parents on fire safety topics, such as responding to an incident and creating an evacuation plan.

Bathroom Safety: Reducing Risks and Enhancing Comfort

Bathrooms can be hazardous environments for seniors due to wet, slippery surfaces. Install non-slip mats inside and outside the bathtub/shower to reduce the risk of falls; add sturdy shower chairs/bench for bathing support while bathing; add non-slip strips lining any tub/shower walls as an additional preventive measure against slipperiness.

Grab bars are essential in the bathroom, particularly near toilets and shower/bathtub areas. Install them securely for maximum support and stability, and place crucial toiletries within easy reach to eliminate unnecessary stretching/bending.

Another key element is water temperature. Limiting the water heater temperature to 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) can prevent accidental scalding incidents; installing anti-scald devices onto faucets and showerheads provides even further safeguarding.

Medication Management: Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Correct medication administration is essential to an aging parent’s health and well-being, but managing this aspect remotely may present challenges. You can implement strategies to assist them in staying compliant while remaining safe.

As part of your overall parenting advice, suggest your parents use a pill organizer to keep track of their medications and reduce confusion, missed doses, or accidental overdoses. Setting reminders using smartphone apps or automated medication dispensers may also prove helpful when taking their pills at scheduled times.

Regularly review their medication list with your parents and healthcare provider to ensure they take appropriate doses, avoid potential interactions and maintain written lists, including dosage instructions in emergencies.

Explore options for medication delivery services or assistance programs that assist with refills to ensure a steady supply. Communicating openly with healthcare providers about managing medication regimens will also help lower risks while supporting overall well-being.

Emergency Preparedness: Plan for Unforeseen Situations

Having an effective plan is paramount in emergencies or unexpected circumstances. With your parents, create an emergency kit consisting of essential items like a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, non-perishable food items, and water for safekeeping in case of unexpected situations.

Make sure your parents can easily access important documents like identification cards, medical records, and insurance info by storing copies digitally – this way, they’re always readily accessible, even if physical copies become lost or destroyed.

In case of power outages or other emergencies, investing in an alternate power source, such as a generator or battery-backed backup system, could ensure essential appliances and medical equipment remain functional.

Finally, create an emergency communication plan. Provide your parents with emergency contact numbers from family, neighbors, and local authorities, as well as check in regularly to establish clear protocols for communication during emergencies.

While physically distant from your aging parents can be daunting, taking proactive measures to ensure their home safety can provide great peace of mind. Addressing areas such as fall prevention, kitchen and bathroom safety, medication administration management, emergency preparedness preparation, and regular communications with them and their healthcare providers or neighbors about any changes or concerns can create an environment that makes your parents comfortable despite the distance. With careful planning and consideration paid towards every detail, you can help your parents feel safer than ever in their home environment!

Join the Revolution.

Join a growing community of women who are breaking down aging stereotypes and creating a fresh perspective toward embracing life after 50.

Join the

Join our growing community of women who are breaking down aging stereotypes and
creating a fresh perspective toward embracing life after 50.