The older people become, the more susceptible they are to serious injuries and illnesses. There’s no getting around that fact, and many of us worry about our older parents living alone because of this. But by knowing some ways you can ensure your senior parents are safe at home, you can protect them while giving yourself peace of mind.
Have a List of Emergency Contacts
It’s difficult for anyone to recall multiple phone numbers by memory, but it’s often necessary to have some contacts on hand in case of an emergency. Giving your older parents a smartphone can be confusing, as the interface is not always self-explanatory.
Tape a list next to every phone in the home, clearly labeling each phone number and who it belongs to. Whether the number is a direct line to you, another family member, or emergency services, confirm with your parents that they know where to find the list and when to call.
Eliminate Tripping Hazards
Clutter can build up over the years, and this build-up can eventually turn into a tripping hazard for your parents. Pathways, stairwells, and bedrooms overrun with furniture or other items can prevent mobility and increase the chances of falling over.
Take the time to go through your parents’ belongings and determine what they need to keep and what is best to put in storage or throw away. It may be a long process with some frustrations along the way. It may be difficult for them to part with seemingly random objects. But it’s essential to be patient and let them know this is for their safety.
Make Sure They Can Hear Danger
Whether it’s a smoke detector going off, a knock at the door, or a phone ringing, your parents may not be able to hear certain noises clearly. Hearing deteriorates over time, and it can be a challenge for older people to hear or understand sounds or voices clearly.
Normally, doctors prescribe hearing aids to assist with everyday needs, but that is not always necessary. Personal sound amplifiers can comfortably increase the volume around the home without expensive medical equipment. Amplifiers allow your parents to hear sounds around the home, alerting them to potential danger, visitors at the door, or a ringing phone.
Understand Their Concerns
It’s always difficult for people to acknowledge necessary lifestyle changes, and it’s common for individuals to resist the change at first. But knowing how you can ensure your senior parents are safe at home also means letting them accept the help. Don’t force them into anything they don’t feel comfortable with, but stress the point that this is something they need to consider to guarantee their continued health.