Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today I am talking about home safety for seniors, and now I want to share with you warning signs that your parent or senior loved one might already be struggling with mobility and someways to help.
Let's start in the bathroom. Take a close look at towel bars, window sills and shower curtains. Check to see if any of them are loose and pulling away or in the case of the shower curtain, is it torn?
If your senior is having trouble getting off the toilet, he or she could have developed a several step process of using one or more of these items to get up. They might think of it as clever behavior and adapting to their needs.
However, if these items become loose or ripped, the next time they grab onto it, it could pull away completely resulting in an accident. After checking out the bathroom, take a similar tour of the bedroom, favorite sitting areas and dining area.
Again, check window sills and curtains for signs of damage. Also, notice if there seems to be anything missing from around their favorite seating area. Perhaps, a broken or missing table lamp or favorite decorative item, or have another piece of furniture been repositioned. These could be signs that your senior leaned on something for support and it didn't bear the weight or that he or she sought something else that would.
Some easy and inexpensive options to assist with sitting and standing include raised toilet seats with arms that lock onto an existing toilet. This will give your senior the height and support to stand.
A handheld shower nozzle is also helpful and can fit wide over the tub's faucet so there is need to reach up. Another option is to install floor-to-ceiling grab bars. These items provide a full range of heights to hold on to while sitting or standing up. You can install one by the bed, in the bathroom or by a favorite chair.
Other considerations for the senior who is having a hard time getting around is to not wax floors or apply other glossy, slippery treatments. You should also choose low pile carpets that shoes skim over rather than become entangled with.
Also, make sure area rugs and carpets lay flat with no wrinkles or other obstructions that a foot could become caught on. A good place to check for this kind of damage is at doorways, stairs and seams.
These are just the first steps to making your senior's home a safe place to be. In the next video, we will go room by room to give you idea on improving your senior loved one's safety at home.