Home Care For The Elderly

Most seniors do not choose to go into a senior care facility as they age, thus many seniors choose to live at-home as they age. Home Care for the elderly is a good option for seniors who wish to age independently. If your senior loved one is living at home, it is a good idea to understand the safety risks involved with senior independent living. Often times those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may wish to live at home while receiving home care for the elderly help, but there can still be potential dangers for seniors.

Seniors who live at home will want their home to be modified to live safely. When preparing the senior’s home for home care, it is not only about taking the best safety measures, but also comfort and convenience for your aging loved one. The kitchen should be accessible to the senior, however depending on the health of the senior, you will need to make adjustments to the kitchen area. It is important to have a safe kitchen, as many seniors choose to enjoy their evenings at home as they age. Seniors may have trouble bending, if so you will need to consider putting a wall oven into their kitchen. Also, a refrigerator with the freezer in the bottom may be a good idea for someone who has difficulty reaching. The same goes for cabinets; make sure to place everyday items in lower cabinets, or create storage at the level between the shoulders and knees for the senior to utilize for their daily kitchen items and to reduce their risk of falling.

Safety is something that needs to be thought about when a senior loved one is living independently at home. Sometimes seniors with a gas stove may forget to turn off the burner after cooking or reheating their meal, and this can be extremely dangerous. Gas stoves may also have pilot lights that could get blown out, and your senior loved one may not realize that there is gas leaking from this spot due to their inabilities to smell as well as they did when they were younger. Gas leaks can cause death, stroke, and extreme illness, especially in older individuals. Even if your senior loved one is using an electric stove top, they may forget to turn off the burner, and may set the newspaper on it which will cause a fire. The kitchen can be a dangerous place for seniors.

Another danger for seniors living at home, is that of pots and pans falling onto the senior while they are cooking. A hot dish, pot, or pan can cause a senior to break a bone or receive medical treatment for burns. The senior may not set the pots properly on top of the burner when cooking, and this may cause a disaster for your senior loved one. Some caregivers choose to remove the knobs from the cooking devices to ensure safety for their loved ones, or they may even get child-proofing devices if they do not think their senior loved one should be cooking for themselves.

Some suggestions you may want to follow for a safer and more comfortable kitchen for your senior loved one are: removing the spices and medicines from the counters and keeping cleaning supplies locked elsewhere. You may want to remove sharp objects such as knives and scissors, disguise the garbage disposal switch, put labels on shelves and cabinets, disable kitchen appliances when you are not in the room with the senior, use burner covers, have an electric start instead of a gas pilot, lock the oven door, use safety devices on doors and cabinets, and install gates so your senior loved one cannot access the kitchen when they should not be accessing that part of the house.

Taking the steps to a safer kitchen, and safer home, for those who wish to age at home, is often the best solution to healthy aging. Homecare providers will help ensure that your loved one is safe when you are not able to care for your loved ones. If your senior loved one is planning on staying at home as they age, it is best to talk with your local area agency on aging, or a geriatric care manager to determine which Home Care steps you should take to ensure your senior loved one’s well-being and the safety in their home.


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One Comment

  1. Posted February 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Home care for the elderly can be a lot of work, but it’s important to keep your loved one’s safe. This article offers some great points for those who need home assistance for their elderly friend. Many home care agencies offer 24-hour assistance as well, to ensure that your senior is safe.

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