Elderly Home Safety – Special Needs & Accidents

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,117
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care talks to us about home safety for seniors and some simple things you can do to help them remain in the comfort of their own home. This video will focus on some of the ways to care for a senior with special needs and what to do if there is an accident.

    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 some ways to care for a senior with special needs and what to do if there is an accident. Seniors like the rest of us don't all fit into the same box; if you are caring for a senior who uses an assistive device or has a medical condition such as Alzheimer's, COPD or diabetes, you have extra considerations to keep in mind while conducting a home safety audit.

    Lock-in switches on thermostats and stoves will keep seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer's disease from harming themselves. You can also help them manage in their environment by installing a cordless intercom.

    Rubber ramps that are ADA compliant are easy to install on most surfaces. They stay in place by sheer weight and can be moved from one opening to another. These inexpensive items can make it easier for a wheelchair to navigate the home.

    For seniors on oxygen, it's vitally important to keep open flames and combustible materials away from the oxygen tank. Signage is also helpful to let visitors and emergency personnel know that oxygen is in use in the house and extra precautions are necessary.

    Personal emergency response systems like lifeline and other devices that can be worn by the senior and activated in an emergency are also good considerations. All seniors especially those with medical conditions should keep a file of life on their refrigerator.

    Emergency responders are trained to look for this material. The file should contain a list of medications the senior is currently taking, any medical conditions he or she has, names and contact information of doctors and family members as well as any other special medical instructions they want to share.

    Having this information readily available can assist with diagnosing medical conditions quickly and preventing improper treatments. Once you have tackled and completed safety projects, it's important to keep an ongoing vigilant eye on your senior loved one.

    You should become concern if you notice that he or she goes out less or seems to stay in one room. Many people who fall even those who are not injured develop a fear of falling.

    This fear may cause them to limit their activities leading to reduce their ability and physical fitness and thus increasing their actual risk of falling. If your loved one has taken a tumble or their health has changed, consider the following.

    Redo the home safety check. As your seniors' health changes, changes may need to happen in the home. Consult your senior loved one's physician and see if there is a course of action to help prevent future falls. The doctor may prescribe physical therapy, balance training or other affiliated medical assistance. Have a heart to heart talk and ask your senior to take steps to protect their independence and reduce the risk of falling.

    Some considerations include participating in regular exercise programs like Tai Chi that increases strength and improves balance, asking a doctor or pharmacist to review medications, both prescription and over-the-counter to reduce side effects and interactions. Having an annual eye exam, speaking with a nutritionist to ensure your senior is eating balanced meal and getting enough calories, proteins and good fruits and vegetables. Helping mom and dad remain independent, safe, and healthy are some of the best gifts you can offer them during their later years. In the end, the steps you take can help lead to more enjoyable times together.