8 Significant Safety Hazards for the Elderly

By Lutgarda Mariano, 9:00 am on

One of the top priorities for family caregivers should be to create a safe living environment for their senior loved ones. Caregivers also need to make sure their loved ones are safe outside of the home, regardless if they are running errands, going to local venues, taking a walk, or meeting with other family members and friends. Here are some of the major safety hazards for seniors and how they can be prevented. 

1. Steps 

Walking up steps is often a safety hazard for seniors due to clutter or the steepness of the steps. However, by cleaning off the steps and installing bars or a ramp, family caregivers can prevent their loved ones from slipping and falling. Make sure outdoor steps are free of ice, snow, and debris. You can also install grip tape or secured mats to make the steps safer. 

Seniors are at risk of a variety of health conditions that can affect their mobility and make them susceptible to falls and injuries. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Victoria, British Columbia, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Bathrooms

Bathrooms are often the most hazardous areas in the home. Family caregivers should install grab bars, secure rugs, lower toilets and counters, place benches in the shower, and make other adjustments that prevent serious slips, falls, and serious injuries. 

3. Appliance Fires 

As a family caregiver, you should make sure the appliances in your loved one’s kitchen are in good working condition. The wires cannot be frayed, and electrical outlets should not be overloaded. Encourage your loved one to unplug appliances every night to prevent fires, or you can do it for him or her. 

4. Choking on Food 

Seniors are at a high risk of developing dysphagia, which makes it difficult to swallow food. Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can also make it difficult for seniors to chew their food. Various health conditions cause seniors to choke on their food, which is why you may need to cut your loved one’s food into smaller pieces before he or she eats.

5. Medication Issues

It may be difficult for your loved one to remember when to take his or her medication, how many pills to take, and what to eat or drink with each dosage. If not taken correctly, your loved one could overdose and damage his or her health. To prevent medication issues, make sure your loved one takes his or her medications correctly.

From taking medications on time to managing daily tasks, seniors may need help with a variety of activities. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Victoria, British Columbia, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.  

6. Sun Exposure

Being outdoors is sometimes a safety hazard for the elderly since exposure to the sun can cause heat exhaustion, eye damage, sunburn, and dehydration. Make sure your loved one drinks plenty of water, wears protective clothing and accessories, uses sunscreen, and limits exposure to the sun. 

7. Poisonous Plants and Dangerous Garden Tools 

Gardening can be a fun activity that increases dexterity, lowers stress, and slows cognitive decline. However, it can also be a safety hazard. Make sure the tools your loved one uses are safe and the garden doesn’t have poisonous plants. Monitoring the plants and tools could prevent cuts, bruises, and skin disorders in the elderly. 

8. Common Land Hazards 

When your loved one goes outdoors, he or she may encounter uneven surfaces, holes in the ground, hanging power lines, and other safety hazards. However, you can help your loved one prevent slips, falls, and other serious issues by helping him or her use devices that enhance hearing, sight, and mobility. Remind your loved one to be aware of his or her surroundings at all times and to take it slow when traveling from one place to another.

Caring for aging loved ones and helping them prevent falls and injuries can be a challenging task for family caregivers. Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. Victoria, British Columbia, seniors and their families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life. To create a comprehensive care plan for your loved one, call us at (250) 592-4881 today.

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