Have you ever looked at your mom's home in terms of safety? If she lives alone, she needs all possible risk factors tended to. You want her home to be free of obstacles that could cause a fall. Fire hazards and other safety issues must also be addressed. What should you look at?
Stairs and Steps
Check all stairs and steps for loose carpeting or carpet runners. Check that the railings are secure and not splintering. If the stairs are not carpeted, make sure they are not too slippery. If they are, you need something to add traction.
Rooms need to be evenly lit with no shadows in heavy traffic areas. LED lighting is energy efficient and bright. Switching to LED fixtures may be a cost-effective change.
Lighting may be dim on stairs inside and outside the home, light those areas up with new light fixtures. You can use solar-powered fixtures outside to eliminate the need to rewire. Inside, floor-level battery-powered LED puck lighting works well on stairs and in hallways.
Make sure that items in the laundry room are easy to reach. A laundry detergent container may be too heavy for your mom to lift. A laundry detergent jug with a cup and spout eliminates her from needing to lift it.
If her laundry room is in a basement, make sure she's not carrying a heavy hamper or laundry basket up and down the stairs. She may find it easier to have a laundry chute installed. If you can, moving the laundry area to her main floor is even better. Extra space in a kitchen, bathroom, or an unused closet all work well.
If there is a garage, how easy are the garage doors to open? Automatic garage door openers are easier for the elderly, but they must be current models with motion sensors that stop a door from lowering if someone moves under it or the door bumps something.
If it's a door your mom has to lift on his own, is it lightweight or heavy? She needs to be able to lift and lower the door.
Look at all flooring and carpeting in rooms. Wrinkled or torn carpeting poses a trip hazard. Cracked tiles or uneven wood flooring also increase the risk for a fall. These issues need to be addressed.
The bathroom is one of the riskiest areas. Grab bars need to be added near the tub/shower and toilet. Non-slip decals on a slippery tub or shower floor also need to be installed to prevent a slip.
You can do a home safety check on your own. It may be easier to hire a senior care agency to do one for you. You'll have a professional go through her home and point out potential issues. From there, you can make changes based on their priority. Call our senior care agency to make the arrangements.