Keep Your Parents Safe at Home
Your parents were your protectors when you were growing up, always there to catch you when you fell, tend to your scrapes and bruises, and ready to wipe away your tears. But now the roles are reversed. Today a fall for your older parents is more traumatic and harmful than it was when they comforted you through your first accident.
The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78 years old. The longer your parents live, the more their bodies age and the weaker their bones, muscles, and even their brains become. Over time they are more susceptible to falling, causing broken bones, sprained ankles or wrists, and other severe and life-threatening injuries. Your parents caught you when you fell, but you can’t be there every day to catch them if they fall. So how do you protect them when you're not around?
Keep Your Elderly Parents Safe
Whether your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa lives with you or lives alone, there are ways you can create a safer environment. Here are some simple things you can do to help keep your loved ones safe:
- Walk around the house detailing step by step and room by room any potential safety hazards. Bathrooms, stairwells, electrical cords and areas with dim or poor lighting are all red flags
- Install safety equipment like hand railings for stairs, the shower and beside the toilet
- Anti-slip mats prevent falls outside on stoops and stairs, and inside in the front hall (where water and dirt tracks in), in the kitchen and bathroom
- Broken or chipped tiles, steps and floorboards are all hazards. Repair any defects before an accident occurs
- Check smoke alarms, CO detectors, medical and home security systems and all the locks in the house. Make sure batteries are replaced and everything operates as expected. Contact a residential locksmith to replace old locks as necessary
- Install bright, automated or clap-on lighting in every room in the house. This will keep your mom or dad from sliding along the wall in pitch blackness to find the kitchen light for that drink of water
- Keep stairs and entries clear of all clutter. Clutter on stairs is a big tripping hazard
What Happens if There is an Emergency?
First, get to know your or your parents' neighbors. Ask any of them who are home during the day to check in on mom or dad. A quick hello will do. Keep phone numbers handy. If you can’t get home to your parents and are concerned, you can call a neighbor to run over and check on them.
Second, consider getting a medical alert alarm that sends help in any emergency. All your loved one would have to do is push the button and the alert company sends emergency response teams to their home.