Are Your Parents Aging Alone in a Big House? Tips to Help Keep Them Safe!
Wonderful family homes filled with happy memories can slowly become safety concerns as our parents become age and find themselves living alone. While aging at home does come with the comforts of familiar surroundings and neighborhood connections, there are also health and safety concerns to consider. Here’s some quick and easy advice for making homes safer for seniors, from our home health aide providers in NJ.
#1 – Rearrange furniture
Change furniture arrangements in bedrooms, living, corridors, and dining areas so that there are wide, clear paths through the space. Be prepared to sell old, bulky furniture and replace it with more comfortable, supportive chairs and couches that take up less space and are easier to sit down on and get up from.
A more open home environment is also less likely to result in a fall and creates sufficient space for walkers and wheelchairs. Doorways should be at least 32” across, and furniture should be removed from tight corners near doorways to make turning and maneuvering easier.
It’s also a good idea to install grab bars in key areas such as the bathroom and even the bedroom. Make sure they are securely installed and can carry your loved one’s weight, making getting up and bathing much easier and safer.
#2 – Go more minimalist
The more “stuff” your parents have in their home, the more likely they or an elderly friend are to trip and fall over. A more minimalist look doesn’t have to be cold and clinical, and it’s a wonderful way to clear out clutter while making your parent’s home a wonderful space for gatherings and everyday life.
Old magazines and newspapers, throw rugs, unused furniture, full cupboards, and unused items should be sold, donated, stored, or passed on to family members. Arrange pictures and photographs on a wall rather than on surfaces, store books and everyday items on easy-to-reach shelving, and file important paperwork in a secure place.
Making these changes will not only help prevent falls and fire hazards, but they will also make the home much easier to clean. Think about it as a refresh for their golden years and get your family together to give the home a fresh coat of paint and a new lease on life!
#3 – Have emergency numbers handy
Make sure your mom and dad have all emergency numbers handy – and that they have a cell phone they are comfortable using. Good emergency numbers to include on speed dial are your personal number and emergency family contacts, 911, their professional caregiving service, and their doctor’s office. These numbers can also be printed in large format and stuck on the fridge and by their bed.
If they aren’t comfortable using a cellphone or often forget where it is, then it’s a good idea to invest in some medical wearable tech. The Apple watch, for example, looks stylish and has automatic fall detection and an SOS button, the Alert-1 mobile has a GPS, emergency call button, and automatic fall detection, and the Lively Wearable also has fall detection, a daily step counter, health tips, and urgent response button. These wearable devices can assist your senior parent with anything from accidentally getting locked out of the house to medical emergencies.
#4 – Get home assistance for daily tasks
Everyday tasks can become a struggle as parents get older, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to move out of their home. A home health provider can take on these tasks for your parents so that they can spend more time safely enjoying their Golden Years. Home health aides can provide a wide range of assistance by the hour depending on what your parents need. Common services range from around-the-clock nursing and companionship to weekly help with grocery shopping, going to appointments, and medication management. They are a wonderful resource for taking care of your parents, as they make cleaning easier for seniors, take care of meal preparation, offer companionship, and can keep in touch with you about any potential health and safety concerns.
By letting a qualified professional caregiver take care of these essential tasks, you can remove a lot of health and safety hazards from your parent’s home. You can rest assured that someone reliable is there to take care of them on a regular basis.
Make living at home easier for your senior parents
As part of the United Methodist Communities network, the HomeWorks program is designed to provide New Jersey seniors with expert in-home care and companionship. Our services are customized to each client and are provided by experienced, compassionate home health aides who have a passion for working with seniors. To find out more about hiring a home health aide in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at