Caregiving for the elderly comes with a lot of responsibility. Even though nurses and caretakers provide specific home care services for the elderly, their roles are more diversified in nature. For instance, nurses providing nutritional care to senior people might also have to coordinate with doctors for medication management.
Similarly, home care services for the elderly in India are limited to checking that the health and fitness of the senior person are maintained; it also means that patient caretakers have to ensure the safety and security of the care receivers.
Medical experts have said that an infant requires thorough care and security to avoid any injuries. This is why parents baby-proof their homes. Similarly, the same level of dedication is required in providing home care to the elderly to ensure that the house is organised to prevent any accidents from occurring.
Although the home is considered to be one of the safest places for elderly people, sometimes it needs a bit manoeuvring from the senior caretakers to make the home a secure place to age in comfort and without any worry.
Here are some of the important home safety tips that elderly people must keep in mind
Elderly people are more susceptible to falls and injury than even middle-aged adults. With age, the motor skills become restrictive, making movement limited. This slowly starts to affect the body’s balance and stability, which are very important to prevent any accidental occurrence at home. Senior patients with mobility loss or those who are under post-operative care require even more care and observation by their caretakers.
Therefore, while providing home care for the elderly, nurses will have to be vigilant and cautious to prevent any injury.
These safety tips might help to mitigate accidents or injuries from happening. Let us take a look at them :
1.Checking the wheelchair
Many elderly people, after surgery or due to mobility loss, need a properly functioning wheelchair at home. These days there are electronic wheelchairs available that elderly patients can control themselves and go anywhere. However, they still need an assistant while going out alone. Whether the wheelchair is manual or electronic, its functionality must be checked for the safety of the patient.
Caregivers must check if the wheel has not worn out and has the friction in place for safe movement on smooth or uneven surfaces. In case the wheelchair is an old one, the wheels must be changed without any delay. Before getting any wheelchair at home, elderly caretakers must also see that the wheelchair can accommodate the weight of the elderly person. If it collapses during movement, the senior patient can be injured badly.
2.Re-organizing the house
The house needs to be re-organized to accommodate the safety and security of the senior person.
It is preferable that the elderly person must be moved to a room on the lower floor that is closer to the kitchen and the bathroom. Caregivers must make sure that all sharp objects are removed from the vicinity of the senior person, especially those who are suffering from dementia. Even pieces of furniture with sharp edges must be shifted to another room as they can cause injury.
Wooden armchairs and rocking chairs must be checked to see if they have balance and stability to prevent any accidental falls.
3.Ensuring floors are dry.
Be it an elderly person recovering from surgery or those who have minimum and restricted mobility, every inch of floor and stairs in the house must be kept dry. Elderly people have poor or low body balance. They often do not have a strong grip or support to prevent slipping. Wet bathrooms or living room floors or stairs are accident-prone spots at home.
After usage or cleaning, it must be left to dry for a couple of hours. In case the elderly person needs to use the washroom in-between, caregivers must accompany them for their safety.
4.Precaution for safety hazards
In-home care services for the elderly in India, it is not only important to re-organise the house, but also mitigation of safety hazards is also crucial for the well-being of both caregivers and care receivers.
Patient caretakers must ensure that there are sufficient fire extinguishers in the house to mitigate any fire hazards from taking place. After a maid or cook has left the kitchen, gas leaks must also be checked.
Many elderly people in India live in old houses that are their ancestral homes. The wirings and circuits of such houses are not suitable for using any heavy electronics, including geysers. It can lead to accidental electrocution or even short-circuits.
Hence, family members of the elderly person must be aware of these safety challenges and fix them as soon as possible.
Be First to Comment