If you have an aging parent or family member who lives on their own, you might feel a mix of emotions. On the one hand, you may feel grateful that they live in the comfort of their own home with a feeling of independence and security. On the other hand, you might constantly worry about their well-being and safety. In the United States, about 27% of adults 60 and over live alone. While it’s true that living alone can be seen as a sign of independence, it can also put adults at risk for mental health concerns—like loneliness and isolation—and physical health concerns—like falls and other hazards.
To keep your parent(s) safe and independent for as long as possible, Brickmont Assisted Living is sharing some home safety tips to implement. We’re also sharing tips on when to know it could be time for assisted living.
Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults. Fortunately, many falls can be prevented by keeping the home free of clutter and other hazards. Here are some steps you can take to help fall-proof your parent’s house:
Keep the Space Free of Clutter. Not only does clutter add stress, but it can also be a safety hazard. Ensure your parent’s home, especially the floor space, is free from piles of clothes, books, pet toys, or any other miscellaneous items that could make it challenging to navigate or easy to trip.
Remove Unnecessary Throw Rugs. Try to limit the number of throw rugs and runners in your parent’s home. While it can be safe to add them to slick, hardwood floors, ensure that each rug has a slip-proof rubber backing.
Avoid Loose Cords and Wires. Stretching extension cords across the floor can be a significant hazard. If they’re necessary, try to cover them with furniture or attach them to the floor with duct tape.
Maintain a Clean House
Some older adults may have trouble cleaning hard-to-reach places in the bathroom, changing the air filters, or doing all-around general cleaning and maintenance. This can result in health hazards like mold and dust, which can exacerbate certain health conditions.
To avoid this happening, ensure that your parent’s home gets a thorough cleaning at least once a month to prevent mold and dust from accumulating.
Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
In the event of an emergency, your mom or dad might not be composed or tech-savvy enough to look up a certain phone number. To help them, write a list of emergency numbers and contacts and leave it in a place where it’s easily seen.
Ensure Stair Safety
If your parent’s home has stairs, make sure that the staircase itself is sturdy and secure, with no loose railings. Clear the stairs of all clutter and ensure there’s proper lighting above the steps. If your parent has trouble differentiating between the steps, you can place a piece of contrasting tape on each step.
Is It Time for Assisted Living?
While it’s important to keep your parent’s home as safe as possible, sometimes it’s simply not enough to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. Here are some indications that your parent(s) can no longer live safely independently and could benefit from a community setting like assisted living.
- Despite home precautions, they have recently experienced a fall.
- They are having a hard time maintaining the home, leaving it in a state of neglect or disarray.
- They can no longer shop or prepare meals for themselves.
- They can no longer make it up the stairs safely or independently.
- They can no longer keep up with their finances and consistently miss bills and payments.
- They have become more lonely and withdrawn and would benefit from socialization.
- Because of personal health and obligations, you can no longer check in on them as much.
Assisted Living in Atlanta, Georgia
At Brickmont Assisted Living, we offer all the comforts and conveniences of home—without the maintenance. Residents will no longer have to worry about cleaning, housekeeping, laundry, and repairs as that is all handled for them. In addition to home comforts, Brickmont also provides dedicated personal care and assistance, offering support with whatever our residents may need, whether that’s bathing, grooming, transferring, or eating. We ensure each resident gets precisely the help they need when they need it.
Our assisted living communities are located throughout Atlanta, Georgia, including Wilton, Woodstock, Acworth, and John’s Creek. If you have a family member living alone and think they could benefit from our assisted living services, we invite you to reach out to our team.