As your loved ones grow older, you might
have an increased concern for their safety and well-being. There are many
changes that come with ageing – physical changes can result in the body
becoming frail and weak.
“These changes can be associated with a
number of emotional changes, psychological and physical consequences such as
recurrent falls,” said Specialist Neurologist at Universitas Academic Hospital
in Bloemfontein, Dr Naazim Siddi Ganie.
“There are a number of medical conditions –
neurological or musculoskeletal such as osteoporosis – that may result in
One of the consequences of osteoporosis is
hip fractures which can have disturbing consequences, including institutionalisation,
reduced functional capacity and even death.
But there are ways to prevent and protect
your loved ones from further injury.
This safety begins in the home.
Fortunately, there are various things you can do to ensure that your home is
These safety tips include:
Ensure that your home is well-lit
Having a well-lit home is important, not
just for the elderly, but for everybody in the home. Identifies dark spaces in
your home and install light fitting or make sure that light does come through
from another place.
Make light switches easily accessible and
in reach for any person to use. If light switches are difficult to find in the
dark. Alternatively, always leave the bathroom light on, especially the
bathroom that the elderly person is likely to make use of.
Adding motion sensors to exterior lights
can be helpful, too, since they do not require any fiddling with to turn on and
Place skid-proof mats in the bathroom
Ensure bathroom safety by using handle bars
in the shower, bathtub, and rubber mats on all slippery surfaces.
Opt for putting a slip-proof stool in the
shower if you do not have a bath, and ensure that the entrance to the shower is
not narrow to restrict movement.
Keep floors clean and uncluttered
Keep floor space free from clutter. These
include: electrical cords, newspapers, books and magazines, and children’s toys
and pets’ toys and treats.
Ensure that there are designated spaces in
the home for your child’s and pets’ toys, magazines, and secure electrical
cords to the wall or floor if there is no way to avoid having it on the floor.
Also aim to remove unnecessary furniture
and keep all traffic paths clear.
Remove or secure rugs
Replace or eliminate rugs if the edges
begin to curl. These are hazardous for children and the elderly alike.
If you choose to keep loose rugs in your
home, ensure that it is a slip-proof rug and that is it not entirely in the way
of your walking space. Opt for rugs under coffee tables and furniture and
removing them from hallways and pathways.
The less chance there is to walk over a
rug, the less chance there is of injury.
If you have stairs indoors or outside,
handrails should be firmly attached and run from the bottom to the top of the
Making your home a safe haven for yourself
or preparing a home for aging loved ones can be a stressful task. Don’t try to
do it alone.
If possible, involve other family members
to help, and seek help from qualified home care professionals to help ease the
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