When your parents are at the age where mobility has become a little more challenging and moving about in the home now poses more risk to their welfare than it did before, then it’s time to step in. For the most part, it’s your responsibility to make their environment safer, more accessible, and enjoyable for them. You should try to visit your parents as often as you are able to, and during this time, you should monitor how they’re coping, and be looking for ways to improve their living situation. Remember not to neglect their nutritional needs, and offer to do their weekly shop for them or arrange for meals to be directly delivered to their door.
Alter The Bathroom
One of the most dangerous places to take a fall in the home is the bathroom, especially since it can be a cold, wet, and isolated room. Encourage your elderly parents to refrain from locking the door, as efforts to try and get to them quickly in the case of an emergency can be hindered. Ensure that the bathroom is fitted with an emergency alarm that notifies both yourself and the relevant local authorities. Click here to find out more about having a walk-in bath, walk-in shower, or wet room from Premier Bathrooms installed into their home and minimizing the likelihood of falling when getting in and out of the bathtub.
Remove Tripping Hazards
Wherever you see the potential for a fall, alert your parents and suggest eliminating the threat altogether. Loose and untidy cables are a prime example of accidents waiting to happen, so either remove extension cables or have them tied together and tucked out of harm’s way. Remove all rugs and mats throughout the home, and replace them with non-slip materials instead. Where you can’t remove items, make them more abundantly apparent by covering them in brightly colored tape, or by placing stickers directly onto them. Illuminate any particularly dangerous places using small stick-on LED lights, and see that any dimming lightbulbs around the house are replaced with new brighter ones.
Keep Them Company
You can improve your parent’s living conditions by keeping them company. Chronic loneliness can have a hugely detrimental impact on both the mental and physical health of the elderly. It’s been linked to the increased likelihood of suffering from conditions such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, sleep problems, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
Assess The Stairs
The staircase can be a dangerous place, and falling down a set of steps can be fatal regardless of age. Installing a stairlift might be your only option if your parents are beginning to struggle to climb and descend the stairs. There are, however, other options if you wish to improve the safety of the stairs without having to get a lift just yet. Handrails can be a great help for walking up and down the stairs, and provide comfort when the need for a short break arises. Stairlifts can limit the severity of a fall as they prevent the person from falling onto the hard floor at the bottom. Regardless of the space, you are working with; there’ll be suitable options that can work for you.