As your parents get older, you worry about their physical and emotional health along with the challenges or emergencies they might face living on their own. You want to make sure they are safe and protected from falls, fires and natural disasters like floods. Being able to anticipate and prevent potential hazards is crucial for their safety—and your peace of mind.
You will be surprised at the difference a few added safety measures can make when it comes to the prevention of falls and accidents, but where to start? The first step – doing a thorough check of their home to ascertain what safety measures are already in place, which will make it a lot easier to add what isn’t. This is a great way to help your parents get around more easily and reduce the risk of injury, while at the same time making them feel safer and more confident around the home.
That said, homecare for loved ones aging in place, can also be helpful and effective, especially if you live far away from your parents, and are unable to check in on them regularly. At Home Care Assistance, our care management team and experienced care workers, are well-versed in the needs of older adults and are here to help. In addition to providing your parents with care and companionship, they can also double-check that the safety items in your parents’ home are well maintained, freeing up some much-needed time when visiting, for you to spend with your parents.
Medical Alert Devices
These small, mobile devices or “panic buttons”, are usually worn as a watch, wristband or around the neck, allowing your parents to call for help and receive immediate assistance from emergency services at the push of a button. Some also offer GPS, as well as automatic fall protection, which detects if your loved one falls and notifies a dispatcher.
Replacing traditional rugs with non-slip mats that stay in place on floors, can prevent major falls from happening. Be sure to check the mats often and replace if the edges are coming up.
Fixed Railings & Shower Chairs
Railings offer extra support for everyday activities like bathing and sitting down. Have them installed inside and outside the shower or bath and next to all toilets. Water-resistant, non-slip chairs go inside the shower or tub so that your loved one can sit down while bathing to prevent falls. Choose a chair with a back and arm rests for extra stability.
An Elevated Toilet or Toilet Seat Riser
A taller commode, or a riser that adds height, makes getting on and off the toilet easier for an older adult who has trouble sitting and standing up again. Choose a toilet riser with arms if they need something to hold onto in order to stand up.
Motion-Detecting Night-Lights & LED strips
Put LED light strips in bathrooms, hallways, stairways and other areas, where your parents walk at night, as well as motion-detector night-lights around the home. If your loved ones have a pet that needs to be let out, installing motion-sensor lights outdoors too, is a must.
Automatic Shut-Off Safety Appliances
Buy your parents appliances such as coffee makers, kettles, slow cookers and convection ovens with automatic shut-off features as an extra precaution should your loved one forget to switch an appliance off.
If your parents take medications, buy an organiser for each of them, or you can ask your pharmacy to set up Webster-Pak’s too 1 . A pill organiser makes it easier for them to keep track of their meds and minimise errors, such as taking too much, or skipping a dose. Setting digital reminders on their phones or Google device will also go a long way in assisting with taking their meds.
If your parents have mobility or balance issues and use a walker, wheelchair or mobility scooter, install ramps with handrails at the front and back doors of the house. Sturdy, portable, easy to move ramps are affordable and can be purchased at a hardware store or medical supplies store. Alternatively, you can hire contractors to build and install a ramp. You can also talk to your case manager, to see if you parents are eligible for a government subsided Occupational Therapy assessment 2 .
Make sure there are smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your parents’ home and that they are tested at lease once a year.
An Emergency Action Plan
Having a detailed contingency plan in place for your parents is a great way to further ensure their safety in the event of an emergency. This can include and evacuation plan, as well as include a list of phone numbers for physicians, hospitals, an ambulance service and the local police and fire departments. Include the phone numbers of relatives, friends, and neighbours, as an additional safety net, as well as a packed bag of essentials.
Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with
a Home Care Assistance near me today.
Join Our Newsletter
Our Latest News
As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.