For our aging parents, there is no place like their own home. It provides a sense of comfort, familiarity, and feelings of continued independence as well as security for them. However, there may be hazards and dangers that your family might not be aware of.
Wondering how to support your loved ones to age at home? If you have an older adult living on their own, here is what you need to do to keep them safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the most frequent cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in seniors aged 65 and older. What’s more, they are likely to have more physical difficulty recovering from falls due to their aging bodies and decreased bone density.
To reduce fall risk, remove trip hazards such as rugs, electrical cords, and all sorts of wires. Install non-slip flooring and bathroom grab bars to prevent falls in the bathroom. Add accessible seating to make it easier for seniors to perform daily activities, such as a bench near the front door for putting on shoes, or kitchen stools to reach high places.
Check for Fire Hazards
Another important checklist is fire hazards from within the home. Check the electrical cords of all appliances and replace any that have frayed or damaged cords. Faults in wiring may result in serious dangers, such as fires or electrocution, if not given immediate attention. Use as few extension cords as possible to minimise both fire and fall hazards. When you do need extension cords, place them away from places where leaks are likely to occur, such as the bathroom or near the kitchen sink. Make sure that room heaters are at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, such as curtains, beddings, and so on. In the kitchen, move curtains, paper towels, and other fire hazards away from the stove and oven.
Assess their Lighting
The eyes of our aging parents don’t always work as well as they once did. Darkened areas in their home might cause unnecessary injuries due to disorientation, fall, and other accidents. Moreover, with partial vision, a senior may be unable to separate one stair step from the next, thus posing another threat for them. For this reason, install accessible lights throughout the home to reduce disorientation at night that might cause panic. Replace any burnout light bulbs and install motion-detecting lighting to make it easier for them. If necessary, consider getting smart home appliances that adjust itself throughout the day.
Finally, home safety for seniors often means frequent check-in with your loved one. You, your loved one’s neighbors, and a professional caregiver can help to make sure they are safe. If you are lucky enough to live in the same town/city as your aging parent, drop in unannounced to get a better idea of how they go about their daily routine. Constantly monitor a senior’s health, especially during extreme hot or cold weather when the risk of heatstroke or frostbite is higher. If required, install home security systems to continuously monitor their day-to-day activity, as well as keeping their home safe and secure. Lastly, recommend your senior to call a professional Auckland residential electrician for help before trying to tackle an electrical repair job independently.
At Northern Lights, the safety of our clients is our top priority. Our team of fully trained & licensed residential electricians in Auckland has over 20 years of experience in the industry, providing comprehensive solutions for you. If you need any help in ensuring electrical safety for your aging parents’ home, get in touch with us at Northern Lights Lighting & Electrical today by calling us on 0800 177 275 or enquire online.