How Safe is Your Loved One’s Home?
Speak to one of our experts
Our friendly experts are here to help from 9am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
Ensuring your elderly relative feels safe and secure is a vital and important step in helping them to maintain their independence and be comfortable at home. The Live in Care Company has provided this guide to highlight the main hazards that may be present in a loved one’s home and the easiest ways to adapt your loved one’s home for safety. If you are considering elderly live-in care for your loved one, then ensuring their home is safe will help to provide a comfortable environment for both your loved one and their live-in carer. You can find plenty of guides on our blog for helping to prepare for elderly live-in care and more.
Health and safety precautions are an important thing to think about for your loved one’s home. This is because as our relatives’ age, they may lose some of their independence. This may be due to physical changes, or more cognitive challenges. Cognitive challenges can be linked to dementia, which may cause effects that suddenly make a house unsafe.
Secure any hazards
When considering hazards within the home, it can be difficult to know what household items are potential hazards. What may not be considered hazards for us, can be hazards for elderly people or relatives who may be at more risk. Potential trip hazards may include electrical wires lying on the floor, or unsecured rugs and mats that can slip underfoot.
It is important to tape electrical wires to walls or move them out of the way. For loose rugs, it is better to remove these or replace them with a non-slip mat. A live-in carer can be helpful in this regard, as your loved one will be with someone who is aware of the potential hazards within the home, meaning they can monitor any hazards and take appropriate steps to reduce them.
Remove any old medicines
There may be old and out of date medicines in your loved ones home. This is something to be aware of as out of date medicines can provide a real risk. Make sure there are no old medicines in the house that could be confused with any current medication your relative may be taking. It is also important to check that your loved one has all the medicine that they need, as it can be difficult for them to keep check of all the meds they need to take and to look ahead to foresee any possible shortages. If you have any doubts it can be useful to check in with their GP. A live-in carer can be useful in such circumstances as will be experienced with managing medication and can do so in a methodical manner. They can help keep check of things and ensure medication is being administered safely and appropriately.
Adapt the bathroom
A good home safety tip is to adapt the bathroom that your loved one is using. This is because the bathroom can be slippery and if the person being cared for has balance difficulties then the bathroom can be hazardous. Walk-in showers or wet rooms can be useful, as can bath seats that help someone to get in and out of the bath. However, if these modifications are not possible to get organised right away, then a live-in carer can support your loved one to ensure that they are safe when showering or bathing. Personal care at home is an important job for a carer. This just means that your loved one may need help with things such as bathing, showering, grooming, and other personal care tasks. If the bathroom is adapted for your elderly relative, this can aid in the caring duties and ensure that your loved one’s crucial personal needs are being met.
It can be helpful to ensure that staircases in your loved one’s home have handrails to help them go up and down safely. Sometimes it may even be necessary to install a stairlift. This can be the case if their mobility restricts their movement in such a way that a handrail is not adequate to help them up and down the stairs. Thinking about health and safety at home, particularly with elderly care, can be quite a common difficulty your loved one may have. A live-in carer can be a good way of providing support to your loved one and to reduce the risk of injury.
Secure Points of Entry
Points of entry may need securing to ensure that your loved one is at less of a risk of burglary. It can be helpful to inspect windows and doors for faulty seals or locks and to mend this if necessary. It can also be important to make sure that your loved one is using these locks and that they are shutting doors and windows properly, either when leaving the home or before they go to bed. Sometimes it can be more challenging for your loved one to remember to lock the doors or to know where they have left the key. You may need to help your loved one to keep the keys either in locks or nearby windows and doors to reduce the likelihood of losing them. If your loved one tends to leave the front door open then bringing in a live-in carer may help give you peace of mind that your loved one is securing their home appropriately.
Check the lighting
Safety precautions can also involve checking things like the lighting. Dark rooms or corridors can lead to a greater likelihood of falls and trips due to not being able to see items and furniture in the room. As we age, our eyesight can also worsen so this can be a really important part of safe proofing your loved one’s house. They may not be able to change a lightbulb by themselves due to restrictions in movement. If they do try to change lightbulbs themselves it can be dangerous since they may try to balance on chairs to reach, which, if they are unsteady on their feet, can lead to falls.
Motion lights outside the home can help your loved one with their entry and exit from the house if daylight is limited.
Install an alarm system
When thinking about keeping elderly people safe, a good elderly care tip is to install a medical alarm system, which your loved one can wear around their neck or on their wrist. They can press a button to call emergency services if they have a fall and/or need help. These can easily be bought online and paid for on a monthly basis. If your loved one is reluctant to wear an alarm, it is important to make sure that they have telephones that are working and that they are able to use them, as well as phone numbers of who they can call.
It is important to also make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly in your loved one’s house. The batteries should be replaced every couple of years. If you are unsure it is helpful to test them to make sure that the alarms are working effectively.
How can we help?
At The Live in Care Company we make arranging elderly live-in care hassle-free and straightforward. This is especially so when you are seeking help for an elderly relative and we will be happy to go through all of the care options with you.
Our team will be happy to speak to you and will take the time to help you understand your options fully before matching you with a wonderful live-in carer.