If you decided to help your loved one age-in-place, clearing their home from common household safety hazards is a critical part of the process. Unfortunately, family caregivers may overlook some in-home safety risks that may result in senior falls, injuries and other preventable accidents.
With the help of a home care agency like Kupuna Care Hawaii, you can create a safe living environment for your aging loved one. Our caregivers are well-trained to identify potential fall risks.
The Top Seven Common Household Hazards Encountered By Our Caregivers:
All kinds of cords - oxygen, IV tubing, power strips, or extension cords - can easily become a tripping hazard for older adults. Tripping over electrical cords can increase the chances of an injury, power outage or fire.
2. Lack of Slip Guards on Rugs and Carpets
Anti-slip rug pads or carpet tape can do wonders to prevent falls. Anti-slip equipment can prevent rugs from shifting out of place, or rug corners from curling. Without such guards, rugs can fly out from under your seniors’ feet which causes your senior to lose their balance. Curled rug corners and rugs that are bunched up can become a trip hazard, especially for seniors who use assistive mobility devices such as a cane or walker.
3. Unbalanced Diet
Proper nutrition is fundamental for health and wellness. Our caregivers have encountered seniors who eat unhealthy food such as fast food or junk food on a daily basis. They have also encountered seniors who do not eat enough. An unbalanced diet could be caused by a senior’s inability to prepare meals due to safety or lack of groceries. An in-home caregiver can help your senior get the nutrients that they need. Caregivers that provide personal care and homemaker care can both shop for groceries and prepare nutritious meals. In addition, they can help manage grocery inventory to ensure that your loved one eats regularly.
Clutter may be the most common and dangerous risk to seniors falling at home. Our caregivers often see clutter - cords, trash, random objects - in high traffic areas. To significantly reduce the risk of falling, it is important to clear all walking paths and keep countertops free of clutter.
5. Household Pets
Household pets can provide happiness and companionship for aging adults, but they can also be a hazard if not cared for properly. All pets should be vaccinated appropriately and have a designated area to sleep, eat and potty. The area should be well-maintained so that your senior will not trip on their food, pee pad, or toys. Our caregivers are able to help ensure their pets are fed and cared for as needed.
6. Outdated Appliances
It is not uncommon to see appliances that are decades old - especially stoves and refrigerators. We’ve seen freezers filled to the brim with ice, stoves with one or more broken burners, and refrigerators that are not at adequate temperatures. Outdated appliances that don’t work properly could lead to an overly warm house, uncooked or spoiled food, or even a fire.
7. Unequipped Bathrooms
A properly designed bathroom is ESSENTIAL for your senior’s safety. At the very least, it is important to install grab bars and buy non-slip shower/bath mats. Other accommodations such as elevated toilet seats and shower seating will help prevent falls in the bathroom.
Although this list details some of the common household hazards encountered by Kupuna Care Hawaii’s caregivers, a lack of help around the home when needed is perhaps the most significant risk to your older loved one.
Professional Home Care Assessments
Kupuna Care Hawaii offers complimentary assessments upon inquiry of our services. During a home care assessment, our team will meet with you and your loved one to discuss challenges, lifestyle, daily schedule, and overall goals for care.
If you're interested in more information about how in-home care can help your senior loved ones, contact Kupuna Care Hawaii at 808-202-2010