As your loved ones start to age and lose some of their mobility, it’s important to figure out how much care they may need, and by whom. Except in cases of extreme physical or mental disability, it is probably not necessary for an elderly family member to move into a nursing home. But what can you do to make sure they’re still safe at their home?
If you’ve never cared for an elderly family member before, this may all be foreign to you. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult or scary.
Just do these very simple things to improve your loved one’s at-home life:
-Put in safety and mobility features
-Enable alerts for health emergencies
-Consider extra precautions for mental health issues
-Safely pursue social interactions
Install General Safety Features
You should install safety features of some kind around stairs, in bathrooms, and around other places where your loved ones tend to spend most of their time. For example, a simple bar in the shower can keep a senior from falling and suffering an injury.
Older adults become disproportionately more likely to injure themselves by falling; those 85 and older are over five times more likely than those 55-65. By taking an afternoon to fix extremely slippery areas, add grab bars near potential falling hazards, and otherwise make things a little easier to access, you can drastically increase an elderly relative’s likelihood of staying safe at home.
In case your relative worries about having their home look like a hospital, you can put their minds at ease. These days, such features are designed to look stylish as well as function safely.
Make It Easy to Call for Help
If they do still end up falling or otherwise hurting themselves, the elderly family member in question needs to be able to call for help. A common option is an alert system that an elderly person wears around the neck or wrist that only has one button on it. In the event of a problem, a push of the button alerts that person’s crisis team.
If that’s not available or easily accessible in your area, make sure the relative carries a cell phone at all times, even just a simple flip phone. With the rise of smart devices, you may be able to program a smart device to automatically send you a message or give you a call if your elderly relative says a short phrase. No matter how you accomplish it, make sure your loved one can get help if they need it.
Go a Little Further for Mental Decline
Many seniors deal with their mind deteriorating as well as their body. If your loved one is dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s and has a hard time with day-to-day life, you need to make sure you keep the house extra-safe.
Essentially, do everything you’d do to “child-proof” a house. Lock away potentially dangerous chemicals, secure breakable objects, and make the home easier to navigate. Make sure you think about the unexpected. As things progress, someone may choose to move-in or come over everyday to make sure everything’s going smoothly.
Encourage Safer Interactions with Neighbors
Oftentimes, seniors feel cut off from their community. They may have had friends from many years ago who’ve moved away or passed on. Being unable to get out and socialize as much as they want can contribute to an overall sense of frustration or depression, as well.
While you may encourage your elderly family member to make friends with their neighbors, you do still want to ensure their safety in the process. With a public records site like PeopleFinders, you may be able to get the information you need to keep your elderly relatives safe as well as social. Perform an address lookup on your loved one’s home (and their neighbors’) to try and get more information about the neighborhood and the individuals who live nearby.
Say you or your relative do decide to start meeting people directly. In that case, the people search can potentially give you access to information on who the neighbors are, where they’re from, and possible criminal backgrounds.
If you want to help your elderly relatives, you can make it easier for them to live their day-to-day lives with just a few easy changes. Whether you’re improving their home or improving their social life, spending time with your elderly relatives can only lead to something good.
Use the tools at PeopleFinders to try and keep your elderly relatives safe when they do go out and start socializing. A strong social life is essential to physical and mental health. And with these powerful tools, you can help them do it in the safest way possible.
Image attribution: Evrymmnt – stock.adobe.com