Almost all seniors desire to remain in their own homes as they age, a concept which is often referred to as “aging in place”. As a son or daughter, you may have concerns about your aging parent’s safety at home. How can you help ensure an aging parent’s home safety? What preparations can be done to allow aging in place? What red flags should you watch for to indicate safety concerns?
If you are feeling a bit uneasy about your elderly parent’s safety or are disagreeing about such issues with other family members, you may want to start by checking out Aging Wisely’s Senior Safety Warning Signs.
Here are a few of our tips on how you can enhance senior home safety as well as a great checklist for aging parents you can download:
- Do a physical home safety review or have a professional assessment. Safety issues include removing clutter and fall hazards, ensuring proper lighting, modifying the home or adding assistive devices to ease activities of daily living and more general home safety such as fire safety and storage of hazardous materials.
- Determine a system for “keeping an eye on things” such as family member visits and talking to loved ones on the phone. No one wants to feel intruded upon or a lack of privacy, but for yours and your loved one’s peace of mind it is vital to have support and oversight in the least obtrusive manner possible.
- Consider getting a personal emergency response system. These “call buttons” made famous by the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials help ensure assistance can get to the elder if anything happens. The technology is becoming more sophisticated and some systems offer GPS support or fall detection (in case a senior falls but cannot push the button). There are affordable options for these systems and your local hospital or Area Agency on Aging may offer discounted systems as well.