Many seniors in the U.S. are living in their homes. While this is a positive trend, living independently is most successful when the home environment is safe. Falls, fires, and burglary can all threaten the health and safety of seniors who are living independently. Thankfully, they can all be prevented with home health care.
Falls happen to seniors for several reasons, but the bathroom is the place where the majority of falls occur due to the many slippery surfaces. Unsteady seniors are far more likely to fall and injure themselves in a bathroom that hasn’t been equipped with certain features.
Installing a grab bar in the bathtub can provide seniors with a way to steady themselves in the event that they start to fall.
A shower seat can also be of great assistance. However, the best way to slash fall risk is to also install a non-slip coating or mat on the tub floor. Alternatively, the many types of walk in tubs and showers that are now available can virtually eliminate fall risk. A raised toilet seat reduces the need to crouch, and non-slip mats can provide a secure cushion underfoot.
Smoke alarms are the first line of defense where the goal is to keep seniors safe from fires in their homes. Caregivers should ensure that there is at least one working smoke alarm installed on each floor of a home. Batteries should be changed once per year. In addition, there should be at least one fire blanket and functioning fire extinguisher within easy reach.
Seniors should also be educated on taking the right precautions to avoid fires. Electric blankets should be turned off before going to sleep. Stoves should never be left unattended, and any flammable items like tea towels should be kept away from cooking surfaces. Electrical outlets should not be overloaded, and dryer lint filters should be cleaned after every drying cycle.
Because seniors are viewed as easy targets for burglary, as much as possible should be done to prevent it. Anyone who knocks on the door offering to repair fences, install roofs or provide similar services should be turned away.
On the phone, beware of any calls from those identifying themselves as a government agency, such as the IRS, which won’t ever call about the state of your tax return or refund. Another common scam involves gaining trust via an online relationship and then asking for increasing amounts of money.
Other computer scams include false messages of virus infection or the identification of illegal material on your computer. Both will demand your money in return for repair or remediation.
Living independently as a senior or older adult means being aware of the risks around you. In home care San Antonio provides seniors with the full-service home care they need to remain safely in their homes for as long as possible. If you’re concerned about the safety of your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance San Antonio today at 1-210-495-6300.