Building a home which is completely safe for your elderly parents is no more a daunting task. It is especially important to have some few safety types of equipment set up for your elderly parents when they are left alone for any amount of time. This article will be focusing on some important steps you can take to make your home safe.
In addition to my tips, I have included several links to various sites that have more ideas on how you can safety proof your home.
Products for elderly living alone:
Are your fire alarms working? I suggest checking them at least once a month to make sure they are working. Fire alarms are very helpful especially if you are in the house with your loved one. Depending on the fire alarm, it may be able to detect burnt toast.
One of the best I found on Amazon is Nest protect. It is compatible with your smartphone with the split-spectrum sensor and it lasts really long and one of the must have products for elderly living alone.
It doesn’t require any extra hardware and you can easily set it up from your smartphone. They even sync with your home lights locks or any other things at your home.
This product detects carbon monoxide and the thermostat can switch off the furnace by reducing the leak providing safety to the house.
Remove the dials of Oven and Stove
The oven and stove are a major cause of accidental fires, especially if you are not there. If you cannot unhook it, please remove the dials.
By removing the dials, you are making it more difficult for your loved one to turn the oven and stove on. If your loved one prepares their own meals, you can have them use the microwave and preset the dial for them.
Security Locks on the Doors
Locks on front and back doors will be very helpful if your loved one wanders throughout the night. Wandering is common in persons with dementia.
If you are in a house, you may want to consider putting in extra locks that you need a key to open. Place these locks at the top of the door- out of reach for your loved one.
If you are in an apartment, please speak to your landlord before adding additional locks. Most buildings will allow you to add extra safety precautions.
I would recommend you to invest in something more advanced in today’s digital age. We have tons of options available that can be easily operated from your ios or android devices.
You can go for something like Lockly Fingerprint Bluetooth Keyless Entry Door Smart Lock. This thing has an Auto lock feature.
The range you can set is from 5 secs to 5 minutes. There is no need to keep your keys at a safe place as it reads your fingerprint and by the touch of your finger, it locks immediately.
It has the option of disabling the touch feature from inside so that nobody can activate it from inside.
This thing is an easy setup and adds tons of security to your house and one of the must have products for elderly living alone.
Safety devices for Balconies and Sliding Doors
If you live in an apartment/condo or if you live in a more than one story house, this is extremely important. There are safety devices that you can attach to your sliding doors. You want to eliminate the possible cause of an accident in the middle of the night if your loved one wanders.
Railings for Stairs
If you have stairs in your home, are there railings? Railings are necessary so that your loved one can have something to hold on to.
Also, if you have winding stairs, you may want to consider moving your loved one’s room downstairs if your loved one is having problems with the stairs.
In the evening, place a night light at the foot of the stairs, so that your loved one can wear to take the first step.
Carpet, Hardwood Floors, and Tile Floors
Carpet is wonderful because it helps grip. Unfortunately, some carpets have a lot of frills. This may cause your loved one to trip and perhaps hurt themselves.
If this sounds familiar, you may want to include mats where your loved ones usually walk. If you have hardwood or tile floors, be very careful.
Add mats and rugs where needed. These floors can be exceptionally slippery after cleaning and waxing. You can also purchase grip slippers or socks for your loved one.
Cleaning Chemicals, Medications, Matches
Please keep these out of reach. Your loved one may mistake a bottle of ammonia for a drink. This can be fatal. Do not leave medications hanging around.
Some dementia persons have a habit of putting things in their mouths. Matches are a known fire hazard. Your loved one may not be aware of this.
Instead, they may just be fiddling around with it and a fire occurs. This also goes for lighters. If you use lighters, try to purchase the child-proof kind just in case it is left out in the open.
Safety equipment in Bathroom
This is especially important if your loved one can bathe themselves. Attach the necessary equipment to the shower and tub.
There are several devices that you can use, such as railings for the tub, mats to reduce slipping, and detachable shower heads.
If you have a specific problem, contact a supplier in your area and explain the situation. Some of these places are listed under Safety Equipment.
To set up a safe bathroom, I have posted an article dedicated to setting up a safe bathroom for the elderly where I have given a step to step guide on setting things up here.
Corners in the Home
Too many corners may be confusing for your loved one. Your loved one may become disoriented and lost. If this occurs, give your loved one a tour of the home.
Home Alarms makes us feel secure when alone. If you leave your loved one alone and turn the alarm on, please make sure that your loved one cannot open the door.
The noise from the alarm is likely to scare your loved one very much. And, if the alarm goes off and the agency calls for the password, your love may not be able to answer the phone or answers the phone but cannot give the correct password.
Policemen are friendly but very scary to a person who has no idea what is happening.
Don’t opt for any cheap home system as they have a tendency to fail when we need them the most. Instead, go for these ones. They are ‘Ring Alarm – Home Security System with optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring – No contracts – 5 piece kit – Works with Alexa‘
The reason I recommend them is due to the following :
Ring Alarm places whole-home security at your fingertips. Get alerts on your smartphone when windows or doors open or motion is detected.
They have an Optional 24/7 professional tracking is only $10/month. No contracts or cancellation fees.
You can handle Ring Alarm and other Ring products–including Ring Doorbell–with the Ring app.
You can customize Ring Alarm for your needs. Add components at any time for entire home security.
You can easily set up Ring Alarm in minutes–with no tools or skilled installation.
The 5 piece kit contains a base station, touch sensor, motion detector, keypad, and range extender.
Works using Alexa to arm, disarm, and check the status of your Ring Alarm security system with your voice.
Connect Ring Alarm into Alexa for hands-free voice command. Arm, disarm and check the status of your security system through almost any Alexa-enabled device.
One of the must have products for eldelry living alone.
Nightlights should be used in the evening to illuminate surroundings. You can place these in the kitchen, bathroom, by stairs, and hallway.
Anything that has value to you, you may want to move. Your loved one may bump into a table and knock things off- accidentally. He may also hurt himself on the broken objects.
If guns are located in your home, lock them up. I cannot stress this enough.
If you are caring for a loved one who still wants to drive, it is a good idea to hide your keys. Your loved one may just want to take a drive one day. Hide them in a secure place.
Anything you can do to safeguard a home for a young child or your elderly parents, you can use for your loved one. Baby monitors are fantastic for detecting where your loved one is. You may find one here.
Safety plugs for electrical sockets are very helpful too.
These tips are just guidelines and to give you some ideas as to what to look for. Each situation is different.