When you are caring for someone at home 24/7, it is important to assess the environment and make it adaptable for that person’s safety. Many folks with dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, etc., have vision and/or stability problems. Here are some ideas for helping making your home a “safe zone:”
1. When cleaning floors, avoid using wax or any product that could make the floor slippery.
2. Remove all possible obstacles from where the cared for person will be passing, such as flower pots, electric or phone cables, rugs, etc. If necessary, provide that person with a walking aid, either a cane or a walker.
3. Advise your loved one to always stand up slowly to avoid loss of balance and a possible fall.
4. Install a fire detector and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Your local fire department can help here. They may even check your detector batteries once a year for you. Give them a call.
5. An emergency communication device like Lifeline can be of extreme help.
6. In the kitchen, put away any sharp objects and supervise your loved oneif they are cooking or doing any task in the kitchen area.
7. Mark all appliances with a big “On/Off” sign for safety and clarity.
8. Install a lockbox by calling your local fire dept. They usually have discounted rates for the installation.
If you are using a home care company or hospice, they, too, can help you assess the home environment to make sure you and your loved one are as safe as possible.