You can’t watch over your ageing parents all day every day but you needn’t resign yourself to endless worry either. Making a few changes in and around their home can support them in enjoying independent living and significantly improve their safety.
Here are 5 changes to consider:
1) Fitting handrails and stairlifts
Staircases can become a struggle to ascend or descend, making them accident hotspots. Install a handrail along the full length of the staircase or, for those that are less stable, a stairlift.
2) Installing toilet frames, grab rails and easy access showers
Bathroom slips and trips are common but you can reduce that risk by installing toilet frames and grab rails for the bathtub, making it easier to get up, or get in and out, respectively. A walk-in shower with secure seating is also worth considering.
3) Clearing trip hazards
Remove rugs or mats, or secure them firmly to the floor. Likewise, make sure carpets are not frayed or coming loose. Keep wires from lamps and other appliances tidied away, ideally running along the skirting of the walls.
4) Supportive footwear
When your elderly parents need to be on their feet, ensure they wear a well-fitting and supportive pair of shoes. When shopping for footwear, look for a high back for ankle support, a firm slip-resistant sole, and a heel no taller than an inch; this will all help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.
5) Investing in a personal alarm
Sometimes even with every safeguard in place, an elderly parent may suffer a fall or accident or become suddenly ill. A personal alarm system, such as Saga’s SOS personal alarm worn as a pendant or wristband, means all they need to do to access help is press a panic button.
With a single click, they’ll be connected to one of our friendly operators at our 24-hour contact centre. Using the built-in 2-way loudspeaker, they’ll be assured that help is on the way and we’ll contact you, another nominated person who lives within 30 minutes, or where appropriate, the emergency services.