- DR. MARION'S METHOD
- CAREGIVER TRAINING
Woman's Day’s Guide to Caregiving: Home Hazards
Learn how to make your house a safe haven for seniors
After careful consideration about the living situation of your ailing loved one, you’ve decided to move him or her in with you. What now? Your top priority is to place safeguards in your space to prevent any falls or accidents, says Marion Somers, PhD, author of Elder Care Made Easier. Consider making some—or all—of these room-by-room changes that will save you (and your loved one) a great deal of time, pain and money down the road.
• Eighty percent of home accidents occur in the bathroom, so this area is most important to address. Add nonslip strips to the shower floor and nonskid mats to the bathroom floor.
• Install safety rails inside and just outside of the shower as well as by the toilet.
• Clearly label water faucets “hot” and “cold,” and set the water heater to 120 degrees or lower.
• Remove throw rugs and any other clutter that may cause a fall.
• Increase the wattage of lightbulbs for better visibility.
• Replace doorknobs with easy-to-grab levers and remove interior locks to prevent an accidental lock-in.
• Keep a stovetop fire extinguisher available.
• Put appliances, dishes and silverware within easy reach and consider buying easy-to-hold utensils and durable or unbreakable dinnerware.
• If your loved one has shaky hands or trouble holding on to small items, move sharp knives, razor blades and scissors somewhere out of reach.
• Install a second railing against the wall so your loved one can balance on both sides as he or she goes up and down the stairs.
• If stairs are carpeted, check for any tears or snags that may trip someone and cause a fall.
• If you have hardwood stairs, place nonslip strips on each stair.
For more insight into caring for elderly family members, visit our Designated Daughter blog.
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