Keeping An Elderly Relative Safe When They Live Alone

If you have an aging relative who lives in their own home by themselves, you may be worried about their safety as they navigate throughout their house without supervision. There are several steps you can take to help your relative get around easier, perhaps alleviating the need to go to an assisted living facility. Here are some ways you can help your relative retain their mobility safely.

Make Help Accessible

Consider having a few extra phone lines placed in your relative's home so phones are always in reach, or have them carry around a cellular phone in case they fall or become injured while alone. It is a good idea to have emergency numbers pre-programmed into all telephones, so they will not need to worry about who to call if there is an emergency.

Put Items Within Reach 

Move items they use regularly to spots where your relative will not need to move around too much to get them. Use small tables near chairs so there is no need to get up and down, reducing the amount of time they are on their feet. Install shelving at low levels in the kitchen and bathroom to house some of the higher utilized items, so reaching will not be necessary.

Fix Up Walkways

Make the areas where your relative walks regularly free from any obstructions that could become a hazard. Area rugs, floor planters or other decor should be removed. Consider adding small ramps in areas where your relative has difficulty getting up stairs on their own. Handrails should be placed down hallways where there are no items to grab onto, as well as near steps to help avoid falling. Make sure to install rails by the toilet and bathtub as well, as these are areas where slipping occurs due to the moisture in the room.

Hire Some Help

Consider having a home care service come to take care of your relative. This type of service will undertake tasks around the home that may be too difficult for your elderly relative to handle on their own. They will be able to take your relative to doctor's appointments and grocery shopping, saving you the worry about them driving or walking around on their own. A home care worker would be able to take care of making meals, cleaning the home, and doing laundry or other chores.

Home care services will help elderly people with their hygiene, such as helping them bathe or use the toilet. They will also be able to administer medication with the consent of a physician. Home care workers will come to the home according to a schedule you specify, making it convenient for your relative as they will be aware of when someone will be there to assist them around the home. Many elderly people also enjoy having the companionship when someone comes to check on them regularly. Click here for info on home care services for your relative.