Thursday, September 6, 2018

Why You Should Perform a Yearly Safety Check of Your Senior Loved One’s Home

Senior citizens definitely can take care of themselves. No doubt.
However, beyond a certain point in life, their self-care might not be sufficient for their actual well-being, especially if they are living alone. In other words, they need extra care as they age in order to make sure that they remain healthy and happy at all times.

This is precisely why you need to perform regular home safety checks for them and eliminate possible safety hazards. Apparently, in Canada, every 13 seconds a senior citizen is taken to the emergency room for a fall and in every 20 minutes a senior citizen dies from a fall.

Clearly, the matter is quite serious and is not something that can afford to be put off. Michael Brady of Halo Healthcare says that it is best to perform yearly safety checks so as to ensure that the home environment for your senior loved one is safe and sound.

Here are a few other reasons why you need to conduct a yearly safety check of your senior loved one’s home.

Home safety is not the same for seniors as it is for regular adults

The home environment for a senior citizen has to be extra safe, more than that of a regular adult citizen. Just like you might baby-proof your home for a baby, a senior citizen’s home should be made extra supportive for them. For example, simple home modifications can be made like adding grab-bars in the corridor or putting a non-slip mat on the bathroom floor can make a big difference for a senior who is living alone. This not only makes their home environment safer but it also makes their daily life a lot easier as well.

Your senior loved one may not be able to make a perfect judgement of their needs

Your senior loved one may be going through a lot of emotional and mental changes, owing to their position in life, their changes in relationships with their children or friends etc. For the same reason, they may not be able to be completely open about their needs with their caregivers in the first place. Second of all, they may not entirely realize all of their limitations and needs once they have aged. Even during the initial stages of senior citizenship, they may be more or less self-sufficient in their lives. However, further into their lives, they might get weaker in terms of health and may develop physical limitations, because of which they may have different needs as well.

Thirdly, some senior citizens may not admit to having difficulties in their life out of fear of having to end up in common senior care centre away from their home.

Hence, it is up to the caregiving loved one to accurately judge the senior’s home environment regularly and ensure that it is safe.

Living alone is riskier for the elderly

Senior citizens who might be living alone can be prone to a number of accidents at home including falls, which in effect accounted for almost 65% of deaths among Canadian senior citizens a few years back.

Apart from that, seniors may also face troubles eating their regular meals and taking their medications promptly, due to various reasons.

Some seniors may also refrain from leaving their house and going out for walks or to meet friends because of their physical difficulty or their mental state of mind. This kind of an attitude could potentially lead to isolation, increased feelings of loneliness and eventually even depression.

Suffice it to say that living alone, being already risky for a regular adult may be even more so for a senior citizen. Put together with their physical difficulties, their risks of living alone only increases. Hence it is very important to check in on them and their homes every once in a while.

During the safety check

When you are conducting a safety check, here are a few things that you need to pay attention to:

-   First of all, check for signs of health deterioration and factors contributing to it. You can get an idea of the situation by scanning the refrigerator for food supplies. In cases where the senior is unable to cook or buy groceries for themselves, you can arrange regular food supply agents.
Ensure the same for medications as well.

-  Check for signs of mental instability. The home environment can show you a lot of signs of mental instability. If the place is unusually dirty or if the bills are unusually piling up, or if the garden is unusually untended, something could likely be bothering your senior loved one.

-  Finally, check for physical safety hazards including sharp edges, slippery tiles, weak stairs and the like. Additionally, make sure to keep all essentials at easy reach for your senior loved ones.

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