In setting up your home to provide care for an elderly loved one, your most important goal is to prevent falls. To find the trouble spots in your home, review the following checklist, and incorporate it into your home care plan. CRCOC may be able to assist with minor equipment if your insurance does not cover what is needed.
Accessibility on the Ground Level
Ideally, a home for elder care is a one-story residence with no stairs, but we realize this is impractical advice for many. To best accommodate your loved one, just do your best to ensure they are moved into a room on the first level of the home, avoiding as many stairs as possible. In the common areas, you will want to:
Ensure Ample walking space for walkers or wheelchairs (40” or more is ideal)
Remove all tripping hazards, including rugs, electrical cords and unnecessary furniture
Secure any furniture that moves and avoid or secure chairs with wheels
Install railings at any steps or stairs and add Non-Slip tape at the edge of stairs
Consider the need for a ramp on outdoor stairs
Provide Ample Lighting
To prevent falls due to low-light vision impairments, you’ll need to make sure your home has ample lighting for aging eyes by reviewing the following items:
Each room should have immediately accessible light switches
All Stairs and Hallways should be well lit
Consider adding motion sensors or night lights in bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms to facilitate nighttime movement
Fall-Proof Your Bathroom
With confined space and hard surfaces, and frequently occupied alone, bathrooms can be a room where frequent and damaging falls occur. You’ll want to make sure the restrooms utilized by your care receiver are addressed by:
Removing any loose mats (or if a mat is necessary, be sure to replace mat with a non-skid mat)
Installing grab bars and handrails at the bathtub and shower.
Adding an over-the-seat toilet cushion with handrails
Manage Health to Prevent Falls
Take your exercise routine seriously, to stay strong and healthy to serve your loved one. You can help reduce falls by ensuring your care receiver’s health is managed if you:
Encourage fitness for your loved one to build strength, improve balance and coordination to reduce falls
Check medications to make sure they aren’t causing drowsiness
Check vision, Update prescriptions and change glasses accordingly
Do you have any pro tips for Home Safety that we missed? We’d love to hear your ideas of how you have elder-proofed your home to share with our community.