Taking care of elderly loved ones can be quite a challenge. They may not be able to move around unassisted, or their vision may not be as good as it used to be. A chronic condition or an illness like dementia may also complicate matters even further.
To make things a little easier for you (or whoever is the assigned caregiver), here are some tips for caring for the elderly at home:
Buy Medicines Online
Most of the time, the elderly experience health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Recurring aches and pains are also common due to the weakening of the bones. Fortunately, many of these conditions can be maintained with the help of medication. The problem is that you may not always have the time to step out and make a purchase, particularly if your elderly relative requires constant supervision.
This is where technology can be extremely helpful. Specifically, you can now buy medicines online. Just make sure that you go to an online drugstore Philippines’s consumers trust so you can be assured of quality and effectiveness. Another benefit of buying medicines online is that it’s easier to keep your first aid kit well-stocked. This is particularly important in case of emergencies (e.g., typhoons and other natural disasters).
Ensure Ample Lighting
Our eyesight naturally deteriorates over time, which is why most elderly people experience vision problems. To help them navigate your home safely and easily, it’s a good idea to have ample lighting in every area. You should also take note of accident-prone areas and dim spots that could use the extra illumination. These include stairways, corners, and corridors. If you have a pantry, make sure it’s well-lit too.
There should also be a lamp that’s easy to switch on beside your loved one’s bed. Installing night lights to make going to the bathroom in the dark easier would also be helpful. If you can, get motion sensors or touch-sensitive switches.
Manage Tripping Hazards
The elderly are prone to tripping because their sense of balance may be affected by nerve diseases, poor circulation, or conditions like Parkinson’s or arthritis. To make things safer, it’s best to have flat, even flooring like tile or wood as much as possible. If you have carpeting, wall-to-wall is better because it’s less likely to get rumpled or loose. Always check the seams so that they’re always lying flat. Avoid area rugs completely because feet and walking aids can get caught on the edges.
If you have pets like cats and dogs in the house, it would be better to confine them in certain areas. While pets can be pleasant company, there may be times when they can get too affectionate or playful and cause the elderly to get off-balance. For a quick solution, install gates or similar barricades that won’t be easily knocked over.
Finally, try to fix uneven floors. If they can’t be completely eliminated—for example, bathroom floors are usually set lower than the rest of the house—try smoothing them over with a ramp.
Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom and Hallways
Speaking of bathrooms, they’re notorious areas for slips and falls due to their floors being almost always wet. For added safety, install grab bars in the shower area and beside the bathtub. You should also have grab bars along hallways, as well as in other areas that are prone to similar accidents like the kitchen.
In relation, anti-skid coatings may also be helpful in preventing nasty falls and slips. Rubber mats may be a more affordable solution; that said, their edges (like those of area rugs) may curl up or otherwise cause uneven surfaces.
If your elderly loved one has mobility issues, consider rearranging the furniture at home so they can access what they need with ease. For the best results, consult them regarding the layout so you know exactly where to place which piece of furniture. You should also place frequently used items like TV remotes, eyeglasses, and the like on low and stable surfaces.
Install a Ramp
Last but certainly not least, if your elderly loved one needs a wheelchair to move around, ramps would be valuable additions to your home. These would make navigation easier, as well as minimize accidents like falls and bumps. Some of the best places to install ramps are the entrance to your home, as well as the doors leading to the bathroom.
When you make your home a safe and accessible place for the elderly, you’re not only making things easier for yourself as the caretaker. Rather, you’re also giving your aging loved ones a sense of independence and agency. This can be a good thing for their mental state and overall health.
What’s great about these tips is that many of them are easy to do on your own. They also don’t cost a lot of money, which means you can implement them as soon as possible!