Make Time For Safety


Hi there Doctor Marion,
My parents are getting older and have become, shall we say, more clumsy and are prone to hurting themselves on things they normally would not (like sharp corners, or non-carpeted floors). I don't have the time to "safety-proof" their house, let alone have the time to make the improvements on my house too. What would you suggest in this situation? How can I safety-proof my parent's house? Is there a company/organization that can do this for me?
Tim in Ohio

Hi Tim,

Safety is obviously very important, so you have to make the time to take care of this with your parents. The first step is to discuss your safety concerns with them. Once you find the time, I suggest that you go over their entire house or apartment and make a list of what needs to be attended to. Once this is agreed upon, find someone to do the work. Local handymen who are competent and insured are a good place to start.

If you live far away, The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers can help devise a plan of action for a fee, but they do not perform the actual repairs. I’ve found that local hardware stores and plumbers and other family and friends often know who is reliable in the neighborhood. Local fire and police departments sometimes have community outreach programs where they discuss safety in the home and how to keep safety first. There’s a step in my book - Put Safety First - so look for more answers there, too.

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