Home Health Care News

Returning Home: Preparing a Safe Home

Home safety is important for any older adult, but becomes more urgent when a senior who is recuperating returns from a hospital or facility.

Keep in mind that some medications will make a senior weak or dizzy. Think about the layout of your older adult’s home and what obstacles could get in your loved one’s way at home. This home safety assessment can help:

  • Examine dark pathways, corners and other areas where seniors regularly walk or read. Make sure all areas of the home have adequate lighting. Timed and motion-sensor lights outdoors can illuminate potentially dangerous pathways. Inside consider OttLites – which provide a high-intensity beam for doing detail work. Make sure that hallways and stairs are properly lit.
  • Look for ways to make entries safe. Make sure that railings leading into a home are in good repair and that steps and sidewalks are not damaged. Or eliminate steps altogether. Install remote control locks.
  • Think contrast. Large red and blue buttons over hot and cold water faucet controls will help prevent dangerous mistakes for seniors who might be weak and confused after a hospital stay. A dark green or brown toilet seat and vinyl tape around the shower will make those fixtures more easily distinguishable.
  • Look for ways to reorganize. Mom always put the black stew pot under the stove to keep the kids from breaking it. Perhaps now it belongs on a shelf beside the stove. And who says the eggs must go in the egg tray of the refrigerator? Perhaps it’s easier for your dad to reach them if they’re stored in the meat tray. If that hallway table, which has been a permanent fixture, is becoming a dangerous obstacle, relocate it.
  • Install safety devices. Make sure your loved one has assistive devices in key areas of the home, including grab bars in the bathroom and sturdy railings on the stairs.
  • Look for damage. Look for towel bars or window sills that are separated from walls, or shower curtains that have been torn by seniors using them to grab onto.
  • Consider security. Think about the potential dangers that lurk within you loved one’s home. Lock-in switches on thermostats and stoves will keep seniors who may be confused from harming themselves when they return home.
  • Look behind closed doors. Many seniors will close off parts of a house they no longer use. Be sure to check those areas regularly for mold or water damage, especially if you senior has been away from home for awhile. Don’t close vents to crawl spaces.

Your older adult will be glad to be home, and making sure that everything is in order will help a loved one feel more secure.

Home Instead Senior Care is an in-home health care provider located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina serving individuals and families in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area for over 11 years! We offer assistance to those in need for companionship, home help, personal care, short-term recovery, Alzheimer’s care, Respite care and many other services to make your life easier.

© Home Instead Myrtle Beach
p) 843. 357. 9777
f) 843. 357. 9779
11746 Hwy 17 Bypass, Suite B
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576