Crawford Care Management

Home Safety

Falls pose the most significant and preventable safety threat for the elderly. Inadequate lighting and cluttered or obstructed walkways - in and outside the house - all increase the risk of falls in the elderly population. Make sure rooms are well lit - install lamp timers if necessary - and that loose items such as scatter rugs and extensions cords are removed. Install grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, shower seat, and other assistive equipment in the bathroom as soon as the individual demonstrates any need for assistance. The bathroom is the most dangerous place to fall!
 
And while falls pose the most obvious dangers, there are other safety-related measures you can take to protect your loved ones. Here are some additional tips for improving the safety of a home for the elderly.

  • Exchange traditional door handles for long shaped handles to make opening doors easier.
  • Check the temperature in the water heater twice a year to be sure the hottest temperature is not too hot. Older skin is easily burned.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors are in working order.
  • Ensure that all outside locks are functioning and that NONE require a key to open from the inside.
  • Make sure that telephones have large-font keypads that are easy to read.

Home for the Holidays
The time of year nears when families prepare to celebrate the holidays with loved ones. Chances are, you're either visiting someone or hosting guests during this time. If any of those visitors are elderly, there are steps you can take to make their stay more enjoyable. And if you think it might be too much trouble to host elderly relatives or friends, proper planning can make it doable.

Following are some simple ideas to help you prepare for older guests during the holidays or any time.

  • Your guests could need special bathroom accommodations. They may have even declined an offer to visit because they would be too embarrassed to ask for help. Some durable medical equipment companies rent elevated toilet seats and grip bars that give people added support to sit on and stand up from the commode.
  • Some companies also rent hospital-type beds, wheelchairs, walkers, and other equipment. Most provide delivery and pickup services. Before you rent, however, check with some non-profit organizations in your area, such as the American Cancer Society or Diabetes Association. Some groups have items that can be borrowed for short periods of time.
  • Make your visitors feel useful by enlisting their help with meal preparation. Most kitchen supply stores sell inexpensive peelers, paring knives, scissors, and can openers with oversized rubber grips that help anyone -regardless of age -with basic kitchen tasks. "Get Grandma involved by sitting her at the kitchen table and asking her to peel potatoes or apples for a pie," said Valerie Rufo, Vice President, Broadspire Care Management Services.
  • Try and give your guests a room that has easy access from the bedroom to the closest bathroom. Equip these rooms and possibly the hallway with nightlights so they can maneuver around at night.
  • Remove all scatter rugs or other items that your visitors could easily fall over.
  • Offer a bell or let them know it's OK to knock on their bedroom wall if your help is needed in the middle of the night.
  • Consider your visitors' likes and hobbies. Do they enjoy old-time movies? If so, offer to rent some of the golden oldies.

Broadspire Care Management can help assess your home and offer ideas to make the visit pleasant for everyone. Broadspire can also identify the most cost-effective durable medical equipment supplier for items you might rent or buy. For more information, call Broadspire Care Management at 866-354-0152.