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Monday, 28 August 2017

Tips to ensure safety at home in old age

Please read and share if you care for your parents, family and relatives.

Most people believe that there is no place safer than home. Old people have difficulties because their movements are slow, reflexes slower, and the ability to safeguard themselves against any adverse situations, is at a minimum. Sometimes an emergency situation could arise, due to certain conditions or the lack of them, in the house. Given this scenario, it is best to equip your house with means to ensure the safety of your elders. These simple measures suggested by Dr SantoshDatar, Medical Director, and Consultant Doctor, Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd., are sure to help you ensure the safety of senior citizens.

Sufficient lighting: After a certain age, the eyesight is likely to deteriorate.Given this, it is ideal to have a well-lit home, to help the senior citizens manoeuvre through the house with ease. With technological advances in smart housing, automatic lighting which functions on motion sensors, or remote controlled electric lights could be installed to reduce the possibility of accidents. In other cases, installing switchboards closer to the sitting or bedding areas can also be helpful. If the senior citizens are likely to be alone at night, emergency lights should be available in case of a power failure. Also read about 10 conditions that ail the elderly.

Kitchen safety: Kitchen appliances, vessels and ingredients should be kept within the reach of senior citizens. This will ensure that they do not have to struggle or strain themselves in trying to access them. Additionally, cabinets and counters can be installed at a convenient height, to facilitate easy accessibility.

Secure bathroom: Placing rubber mats in the bathroom will ensure that they do not slip and fall on the wet floor. At their age, even a minor accident like this can result in a hip bone fracture, which is difficult to heal and will require major surgery. It is also advisable to install a door knob which can be unlocked from inside as well outside so that if they need any help, they can be easily reached out to. In case of elders that need support while sitting, standing or walking, one can fix wall grips for them to hold as support.

Emergency kit: A well-stocked medical kit, including bandages, sterile gauze, antibiotic ointments, emergency medicines, and more, as per the advice of the family physician or consultant should be kept within reach of the senior citizens. Updated list of emergency contact numbers such as that of an ambulance, fire brigade, family physician, medical store, immediate family members and relatives, should be in easy access to them so that they can reach out for timely help. Senior citizens must be taught how to call for immediate help using the emergency features available with mobile phones. Does your first-aid kit have these 10 essential items? Read to know!

Fire extinguisher: A fire extinguisher should be kept handy, and the elders should be given a demo on how to use it in the event of a fire breaking out. The weight of the fire extinguisher should be such that the senior citizen can easily lift it. The expiry date of the fire extinguisher must be checked regularly in order to ensure its functionality. Installing a smoke detector in the house and the kitchen can also help alert senior citizens.

Home surveillance system:
With increasing number of crimes in the city, the tendency to be fearful of robberies can be heightened. Given the scenario, it becomes vital to install home surveillance cameras, to watch over them. This helps the other family to also monitor the caretakers, in whose care the elders are left to. All the doors and windows should be properly secured.

Regular safety checks of your home: Apart from ensuring that the bathrooms are fitted with anti-skid tiles to avoid accidents, the house must be regularly checked for railings that are strong and sturdy enough to support the senior citizens’ body weight.Regular check-ups of the floor are also necessary to avoid any broken/defected tiles in the house. If the house has furnishings such as rugs, it is advisable to lock the edges with double sided tape to avoid them tripping.

For an older person, even a minor fall can cause serious injury. Thus, being aware of these precautions is of paramount importance. Following these measures will not only increase safety in one’s home but also create a happy, healthy and secure environment for the senior citizens as well as the family. Also read about depression and home care:10 emotional needs of the elderly you MUST know about.

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