Elderly people are similar to kids; completing the circle of life!
Elderly people are prone to injuries because of their fragile body. We need to be extremely careful while taking care of an elderly person to ensure that they do not feel any strain or get hurt due to an accident. This encouraged us to find out common accidents that are causing such injuries among the elderly, and make sure that caregivers get to know about the safety measures and practice it to ensure the safety of the elderly.
Tripping over the stairs or unable to use utilities are some of the common problems among the elderly.
Essential Safety Measures
Safety measures require a keen understanding of what might go wrong in the house and what do the elderly people expect from their surroundings. The following are some measures that you can prevent accidents and injuries:
Efficient architectural design:
The first and foremost concern that you must take care of is the architectural design of the place. Make sure that there are no uneven floors, irregular ceilings or inexperienced doors’ & windows’ installation. It is already difficult for them to move from one place to another, and if the floors are uneven, they might fall and hurt themselves. If the ceilings are low, they might run into suspended lights, or might trip over a loose door or window. All these concerns may seem bizarre, but you should know that they are the most common reasons for elderly people to get hurt.
Some of the designs on the walls or the aesthetic touch that you may find pretty can be a little over-the-top for the elderly. They might strain their eyes looking at it. Everything that you decide for your house should be in accordance with the elderly because safety comes first and leisure comes afterwards.
Everything that you install in your house needs regular maintenance because everything is manufactured with an expiration date. The materials deteriorate due to harsh weather conditions, pollution or simply due to wear-&-tear. Regular maintenance of these materials will help you prolong their life to some extent. You need to make sure that none of the equipment or architectural elements is on the verge of malfunctioning, especially when you have elderly people or kids in the house because they are more prone to accidents than anyone else. Electronic gadgets are not the only equipment that require maintenance on a regular basis, but the walls, ceilings, pillars and other elements of your house also requires regular checks and repairs.
This will reduce the chances of malfunctioning of any equipment in the house; preventing in-house injuries significantly. It might sound like a costly practice to spend on maintenance regularly, but it is extremely important. The overall costs are less compared to the costs of repair when it stops working altogether.
Comfortable beds and easy-to-use equipment:
Elderly people require bed designs which are easy to get-in & get-out and matrices that provide comfort on their fragile backs. Every equipment that is purchased for their use should have an easy-to-use manual because they cannot deal well with complex equipment. They might end up hurting themselves if they are not able to properly understand their uses.
Equipment like a microwave or a personal computer, depending on their needs and usage can be installed in the house. The elderly people can be taught to use the basic features as per their desire and requirements.
It refers to the features and gadgets that you have installed at your place, i.e. Stairlifts, television, lifts, microwave, refrigerator and what not! The only advice regarding such utilities is to make sure that they are easy-to-use and adhere to all the safety concerns for the elderly people in your house.
As much as these utilities provide convenience to the elderly people, they also pose a threat to their well-being. A slight malfunctioning in any of the utilities can be the reason for a severe accident, such as:
- Lift malfunctioning can cause suffocation
- Television malfunctioning can lead to eye straining or an electric shock
- Microwave malfunctioning or misuse can lead to burns
- Stairlift malfunctioning can result in falling from a height or on the stairs
These malfunctioning also causes uneasiness among the elderly people. They don’t always understand what went wrong, so make sure everything is working properly. Don’t hold your pockets when you see any utility that might help the elderly or needs repair in the house. Spend for them and ensure that their life becomes smoother & more convenient.
There are some general safety concerns for elderly people that you should keep in mind while building your house, such as:
- Glow-in-the-dark fire signs
- Elderly-proofing the house
- Elderly people-friendly fire exits
- Shock-proof sockets
- No wires in the open space of the house
- No uneven floor designs
Safety concerns are most important with elderly people because unlike kids, they don’t heal fast; a slight fall may result in permanent disability or pain. Even though, they are as fragile as kids; still, the healing factor is a critical concern. Even small accidents may get deadly. So keep the elderly people away from things that have a high risk of hurting them unless it is essential.
Think About The Elderly People
To safeguard the interest of senior people, you need to think like them. You need to understand how their mind and body work, and accordingly design your house. This will allow you to wisely spend your money on architecture and utilities. It will also make sure that the elderly people remain safe, and live happily in their own home.
Keeping safety at the top of your priority list is the best way to make sure that the elderly people are taken care of. You just need to stay alert and considerate of their well-being, and work-out things accordingly. It might take a little more time and knowledge than usual, but it is essential to prevent unnecessary injuries.
Take care of the ones who once took care of you! Prevent accidents and protect the elderly!
Author Bio – Richard Skelson is Managing Director of RJ Lifts, one of the UK’s leading lift companies providing lift installation, refurbishments,maintenance, and repairs.