8 Common Safety Hazards for Older Adults

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One of the top priorities for family caregivers should be to create safe living environments for their senior loved ones. Caregivers also need to make sure their loved ones are safe outside the home, whether they’re running errands, going to local venues, taking walks, or meeting with other family members and friends. Here are some of the major safety hazards for seniors and how they can be prevented.

1. Steps

Walking up steps is often a safety hazard for seniors due to clutter or the steepness of the steps. However, by clearing off the steps and installing bars or a ramp, family caregivers can prevent their loved ones from slipping and falling. Make sure outdoor steps are free of ice, snow, and debris. You can also install grip tape or secured mats to make the steps safer.

Seniors are at risk for a variety of health conditions that can affect their mobility and make them susceptible to falls and injuries. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Embrace In-Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Bathrooms

Bathrooms are often the most hazardous areas in the home. Family caregivers should install grab bars, secure rugs, lower toilets and counters, place benches in the shower, and make other adjustments that prevent slips, falls, and serious injuries.

3. Appliance Fires

As a family caregiver, you should make sure the appliances in your loved one’s kitchen are in good working condition. The wires cannot be frayed, and electrical outlets shouldn’t be overloaded. Encourage your loved one to unplug appliances every night to prevent fires, or you can do it instead.

4. Choking on Food

Seniors are at high risk for developing dysphagia, which makes it difficult to swallow food. Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can also make it difficult for seniors to chew their food. Various health conditions cause seniors to choke on their food, which is why you may need to cut your loved one’s food into smaller pieces before he or she eats. 

5. Medication Issues

It may be difficult for your loved one to remember when to take his or her medication, how many pills to take, and what to eat or drink with each dosage. If medicines aren’t taken correctly, your loved one could overdose and damage his or her health. To prevent medication issues, make sure your loved one takes his or her medications correctly. 

From taking medications on time to managing daily tasks, seniors may need help with a variety of activities. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Green Valley respite care experts from Embrace In-Home Care are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. 

6. Sun Exposure

Being outdoors is sometimes a safety hazard for the elderly because exposure to the sun can cause heat exhaustion, eye damage, sunburn, and dehydration. Make sure your loved one drinks plenty of water, wears protective clothing and accessories, uses sunscreen, and limits exposure to the sun.

7. Poisonous Plants & Dangerous Garden Tools

Gardening can be a fun activity that increases dexterity, lowers stress, and boosts cognitive health. However, it can also be a safety hazard. Make sure the tools your loved one uses are safe and the garden doesn’t have poisonous plants. Monitoring the plants and tools can prevent cuts, bruises, and skin disorders.

8. Common Land Hazards

When your loved one goes outdoors, he or she may encounter uneven surfaces, holes in the ground, hanging power lines, and other safety hazards. However, you can prevent slips, falls, and other serious issues by helping your loved one use devices that enhance hearing, sight, and mobility. Remind your loved one to be aware of his or her surroundings at all times and to take it slow when traveling from one place to another. 

Caring for aging loved ones and helping them prevent falls and injuries can be a challenging task for family caregivers. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide at-home care. Green Valley families can turn to Embrace In-Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To create a comprehensive care plan for your loved one, call us today. 


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