Seniors can safely age in place

Pegasus Home Caregivers Can Assist You With Home Safety for Your Senior Loved One

If your elderly loved one has chosen to live at home, you may be concerned about their safety. Pegasus caregivers in Porter Ranch and elsewhere can assist with evaluating their abilities and any hazards to their health. We are experienced with helping seniors age in place.

Aging in place refers to mature individuals living independently and safely at home. But as the years take their toll, vision and hearing can decline. Individuals can lose body mass and strength.

Other safety issues of concern include:

  • Health – does a chronic condition, such as diabetes, hamper your loved one’s ability to care appropriately for themselves
  • Personal care – can the individual safely attend to personal hygiene such as bathing without help
  • Household chores – does your senior need help with cleaning, shopping, or laundry
  • Meals – does your loved one skip meals or not comply with dietary restrictions
  • Medications – have there been emergencies because meds were skipped, taken at the wrong time or in incorrect amounts

Any of these can present a safety hazard.

Safety Is an Essential Part of Home Care

Assistance with all safety concerns is part of Pegasus services. Our aides can help with non-medical care. Professionals such as our dietitians, registered nurses, and therapists are available for all medical care.

Experts recommend conducting an assessment to learn if your elderly loved one can live safely at home. The evaluation needs to include the senior’s mental and physical abilities. The checklists referenced below can help you get started.

Professionals Offer Objectivity

You can also turn to the Pegasus experienced professionals in Porter Ranch and our other locations to assist you. Some seniors may listen to an objective outsider more than they will to a family member. A professional is unfamiliar with that particular home and may notice safety hazards that others might miss.

An assessment also includes observing how the individual navigates in the home environment. Sometimes a few minor changes can significantly increase safety.

A touchy area for many seniors is finances. It isn’t easy, but you’ll need to evaluate how your loved one is managing their finances. Look for overdue notices, mail piling up, or excessive purchases of unneeded items.

AARP has an extensive checklist that focuses on assessing the mental and physical ability required to age in place. Some items you can determine by observation, such as whether the individual is neglecting personal hygiene. That’s often a sign of depression, and your loved one may need more help than you thought.

Other items will take observations and non-accusatory questioning over time. Finances are probably in that category. Declines in health, mental and physical, often require the passage of time to notice.

Checklists Highlight Safety Concerns in The Home Environment

Determining that your elderly loved one has the ability to age in place is only the beginning. It’s important then to assess the safety of the home environment. Again, you can do it yourself, or rely on our professional caregivers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps track of accidents. Their statistics on home safety for older adults include household items that lead to accidents and falls. Topping their list of products contributing to senior injuries is electric fixtures, lamps, and equipment.

Other frequent causes of injuries and accidents are household appliances. Handrails, banisters, and railings are additional sources of injuries. Cleaning supplies create another big group of injuries.

These statistics tell you to make sure all electric cords are secured rather than loose. It might be a good idea to have an electrician check all the power outlets. Ground fault interrupters (GFI) are essential for many outlets.

You or the electrician can talk to your loved one about overloading circuits. Any frayed cord has to be replaced. Items like lamps and fixtures need to be stable and have easy-to-access on/off switches.

If the home has railings or banisters, ensure that they are not wiggly and that they’ll support the weight of a person. Install handrails or grab bars to steady your loved one as they walk. While you’re at it, fix any loose steps.

Read the instructions on all cleaning supplies and ensure that your senior understands how to use them correctly. You may also need to investigate the quality of the cleaning. Pegasus home caregiving includes helping with housekeeping if needed.

The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) has a wealth of suggestions and checklists for home safety. Many of these are geared toward ensuring safe homes for elderly individuals. Because falls are frequent, they start with suggestions to use non-slip mats and rugs.

Their checklists point out potential safety hazards and what makes each one dangerous. They then present a general recommendation for eliminating the problem. That’s followed by a list of specific suggestions on how to implement the recommendation in a variety of situations.

NACHI has another set of checklists and information for seniors that are aging in place. Some of the items are duplicated, but it has additional suggestions. There’s general information as well as checklists for exterior details.

Pegasus caregivers are here for you. We can provide whatever level of assistance you or your elderly loved one requires. Helping individuals age in place safely is what we do.