It’s always tough to watch our parents as they age. We want them to be safe while alone in their homes, but we also want them to retain as much independence as they can for as long as possible. When you can’t be there every moment to ensure their safety, turn to the home safety products that can. Any safety product meant for older adults should be easy to use and have features that address common safety risks in the day-to-day lives of your parents. These five picks certainly fit the bill.
The bathroom is a prime location for fall risks. The wet, slippery surfaces combined with the crouching, stepping, and reaching done in bathroom activities make falls more likely and more dangerous. In fact, according to an NCBI study, “among falls inside the home, those in the bathroom were most likely to result in an injury.” Since injuries for older adults can lead to less independence and further declining health, it’s important to ensure the bathroom is as safe as it can be.
Lowering onto and rising from the toilet can be a struggle for those who have lost some mobility, balance, or strength. Toilet rails help keep users balanced and upright, so adults can use both their upper and lower body strength to sit and rise. Some brands attach to the wall and others are freestanding, so you can purchase one that fits with the design of your bathroom.
Bathtub safety bars
While non-slip tub mats reduce the chance of slipping, they don’t do much for keeping balance. People close their eyes while they shampoo or wash their face in the shower, which can lead to dizziness or vertigo for seniors. Bathtub safety bars help older adults enter and exit the bathtub safely and keep their balance while using the shower.
When it gets to be too difficult to stand in the shower due to weakened muscles or balance issues, a shower chair can really come in handy. These chairs are designed to withstand the wet, slippery conditions of the shower, and many brands are even designed to fit partially over the outside of the tub so that users can safely transfer safely in and out of the shower.
With so many sharp objects, burning risks, and slippery surfaces, the kitchen needs the right safety products to ensure your parents’ safety.
Forgetfulness is common among aging adults, and, when combined with the complexities and safety hazards of preparing a meal, it can be a dangerous situation. Burner alerts sit under the stove’s knobs and alert users that the burner is still on. If the burner knob is “on,” these devices will issue an alert at timed intervals with audible beeps and even flashing lights for a visual indication. These reminders will prompt senior cooks to turn off the stove burners when they’re finished cooking and will help to prevent burns and fires in the kitchen.
Reaching and grabbing tool
Not all kitchens are accessible for older adults. Some items are stored up high and require a stretching reach or a stepping stool to access. Other items in low cabinets require crouching or kneeling to retrieve. To avoid muscle injuries or even falls, invest in a grabbing tool your parents can use to easily bring items within reach.
While the bathroom and the kitchen tend to be the most hazardous rooms for seniors, falls and injuries can happen in any area of the home. To ensure a quick response time to accidents in the home, consider outfitting your parents with a medical alert device. These wearable gadgets or buttons around the home allow older adults to signal for help when they need it. Other devices can even scan the home for movement and call for help when no movement is detected for a certain amount of time. These devices make sure that when your parent is unable to call for help, emergency services can still arrive quickly in the case of medical or safety situations.
Aging in place and retaining a sense of independence is possible with just a few accessories and devices. Your parents may be able to accomplish most of their day-to-day lives on their own, but they may need assistance every now and again. Even if you live close to your parents, you can’t be with them 24/7. Give them increased safety and give yourself some peace of mind with these handy tools.
- Dish scrubbing brush vs. sponge: Which is better for cleaning dishes?
- What colors go with gray? How to make a neutral hue pop in your home
- Water in your basement? Do these 3 things immediately
- Do you need to wash walls before painting? The honest truth
- This one change will transform your bathroom (for the cost of a can of paint)