HOME SAFETY FOR SENIORS
Keeping mom safe is my number one responsibility. It comes before anything else, even the purchasing of the blueberry Poptarts that my mother claims keep her alive. I’ve been thinking a lot about home safety lately as we start to baby-proof the house for the “Daring Duo” who have begun to toddle all over every chance they get.
Things like locks for the cabinet doors and covers for all of the plugs are things you do for children to keep them safe at that vulnerable age when they can’t yet take care of themselves. How, though, do you protect a grown adult who no longer has the judgment to differentiate between danger and doing for themselves? I did some checking and found a great article on SeniorAdvice.com called appropriately enough “How To Make A House Safe For Seniors”. They had some terrific ideas and easy fixes that can be implemented immediately.
The one thing I have done regarding mom’s safety is to stop leaving her alone at all. Wherever we go she goes unless there is someone available to stay with her. We had never experienced an emergency with her being alone, but why wait for something bad to happen. The best way to protect someone in an accident is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Clutter is a big safety issue. Things lying about on the floor or piled up around furniture is an accident waiting to happen. My husband and I are both extremely OCD so we haven’t had to deal with that issue except in mom’s room. I worry because it’s a small room with a lot of big furniture. It would be easy to trip over something and take a bad fall. I try to walk through at least twice a day looking for tripping hazards.
One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is the shuffling of the feet and trying to maneuver around on slippery rugs is way too dangerous. We’ve done away with the small decorative rugs and gotten heavier area rugs that stay in one place better. Because of my disability, my left leg drags just a little, and I have taken some pretty bad spills when a rug has either gone flying out from under me or I have tripped over the edge. Better to just get rid of them.
Another way we are trying to be proactive is by installing grab bars in all of the showers and having skid proof rugs when stepping out. It’s easy for anyone to slip in a wet bathtub and having something to grab onto could be a lifesaver. Taking these kinds of small steps to prevent accidents in your home will benefit everyone.
After reading the article, there are still a few things that I want to add, but so far so good. By making these changes while I’m house-proofing for the twins it will not cause mom to feel “less than” like she might if she were to think we were doing it just because of her. Emotional protection is sometimes just as important as physical protection.
I know one day that I will have to add more drastic safety measures. Things like door alarms and security systems. I’m not sure what will come up down the road. I just hope that both she and I are ready for them.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest.
I love you, momma!
*This is a compensated post, but all ideas and words are completely my own!