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Nova Scotia Seniors – Living Safely at HomePosted May 27, 2016
Okay – as far as our Halifax seniors and seniors everywhere go, it is far better for them to stay at home for as long as possible. It’s comforting and better for their peace of mind and, therefore, their health in general. Yes, how they are feeling emotionally affects their physical health, as it does for all of us.
There are many simple steps to make small changes within the house to avoid accidents and missed meds.
Preventing falls: (The single most prevalent danger for our Seniors in Nova Scotia)
Double sided tape or rug pads prevent area rugs from slipping and our seniors from tripping – if possible remove them altogether.
Get rid of the clutter. Get shelves into closets – make it easy for Mom or Dad to put their shoes away or hang clothes up rather than leave them laying around.
Make sure the bed is not too high or even too low
Get a night light
Provide grab bars in the bathroom
A seat in the bathtub or, if possible, a walk in tub
Make sure there are bathmats on the bathroom floor so it does not become a slipping hazard
If there is the possibility of the water being too hot, turn down the temperature on the hot water heater
Be sure that medicines and toiletries are reachable by our loved ones.
Make sure chairs are sturdy and not wobbly.
Be sure that there is adequate lighting and that Mom or Dad can reach any switches to turn it on (if not, install a clapper)
Be sure any assistive devices (walkers, canes, etc) are being used by Mom and Dad – not just standing in the corner.
There are lift chairs for our seniors to help them right up to a standing position – right into their walker if necessary
Get one of the alert systems in place that will alert a call center should they fall and be unable to get back up. If the call center is unable to reach them, they will call emergency services.
Other safety Issues:
Be sure there are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout
Kettles that shut off automatically
If you are worried about them using the stove, there are stoves that will shut themselves off (much like your kettle) after a certain length of time
A working fire extinguisher in the kitchen
Appliances are on correct settings (fridge to right temperature for keeping food safe, thermostats, etc)
Furnace is serviced every year and chimneys are cleaned
A stair lift where appropriate
Make sure they eat:
If you are too busy yourself, get a reputable homecare company, such as Always Home Homecare, in place to prepare some meals in advance – set for microwave re-heating ideally or oven ready.
If Mom still insists on doing her own cooking, use the homecare company to get the groceries to her.
Not taking meds?
Be sure that meds are properly sorted in med cases by day or even different times of day – to make them easy to track.
If memory is an issue, again, this is where Always Home Homecare would come in handy – they could check up and make sure that the meds are being taken as they should.
Home care could solve a multitude of issues and stresses for you.
They could prepare meals, clean out spoiled food from the fridge, check the meds, clean and de-clutter the house, get the groceries, help Mom or Dad bathe, if necessary and report back to you as to how they are doing. You don’t usually need them every day but as Mom and Dad become more frail, you could get them in more often as necessary. Many veterans can get this service for free.
Will they need to move to a residence?
Possibly, one day but in the meanwhile… let them stay home, with their comfortable surroundings, beloved pets, gardens, friends and neighbours. They will stay happy and, therefore, healthier for a long time to come.