As your loved one’s primary family caregiver, you’re in charge of making sure she’s as safe as possible. if you don’t know where to start, though, the job can feel overwhelming. Start with these safety considerations and then you can branch out to other potential safety problems.
Check the Water Heater Temperature
Hot water can do a lot of damage, especially if your loved one gets easily confused or she finds it difficult to turn the faucets to the right temperature. Check the setting on your loved one’s water heater and adjust it down by a few degrees. This won’t make the water significantly colder when she’s taking a shower or washing dishes, but it does reduce the risk that she’ll accidentally scald herself.
Evaluate Potential Tripping Hazards
Tripping hazards are one of the biggest safety issues your loved one can face. Remove anything that might cause her to trip, such as clutter, cords, or damaged rugs or flooring. Make sure that your loved one has a clear pathway in which to walk.
Install Hand Rails
Hand rails, whether you install them in the bathroom or elsewhere, can be a lifesaver for your elderly loved one. Look for places where you can add them in order to give your loved one added stability anywhere in her house. You might also want to look into moving furniture that isn’t stable out of the way and replacing it with a hand rail that can help your loved one catch her balance.
Improve Lighting throughout the House
If your loved one can’t see potential hazards, she can’t avoid them. Replace or improve the lighting in your loved one’s home to do everything you can to improve visibility for her. You might want to add additional lamps or simply update the bulbs to brighter LED lighting. Have your loved one help you determine where the biggest lighting problems are for her so you can correct those first.
Once you have the initial safety concerns out of the way, you can start looking at more specific safety steps you can take for your loved one.