Dr Jane Townson Chief Executive Officer United Kingdom Homecare Association says “It is a truth universally acknowledged that most people, even if they need a high level of care, want to stay at home, forever. With the Office of National Statistics predicting a 35 per cent growth in the number of over 80s in the next decade, up to 4.6 million people in the UK, the issue of how to find the best care for people is growing in importance.”
Older people choosing to stay at home to preserve independence will be exposed to more challenges than when they were younger. With decreasing mobility, mental health problems, decline in eyesight and hearing a house can become somewhat more perilous than what it was before. Most serious accidents involving people over 65 usually happen on the stairs or in the kitchen although more accidents happen in the bedroom and the living room. Several of these accidents results in falls with subsequent fracturing with hip fractures being the most debilitating.
There are many ways to reduce risk in your home should you wish to choose Live-in care to stay home and not move to a care home. Rearranging and clearing your home are good first steps. Remove trip hazards such as:
Rugs on slippery floors
Excess furniture and cables
Ensure that all rooms have sufficient open space for people with mobility challenges.
Ensuring that all spaces are adequately lit, and light switches are easily accessible. Night lights or motion sensor lights in corridors and stairs will provide an extra layer of safety.
The prevention of wandering is very important when caring for people with Alzheimer's & Dementia. Walking with short-term memory problems frequently results in people becoming lost. Besides changing locks or adding additional locks, floor sensors or floor pressure mat with pager can be installed.
Accidental poisoning is also one of the hazards present in any home but more so for people over 65. Incorrect dosages of medicines, carbon monoxide and pipeline gas and mixing of cleaning materials such as bleach and ammonia can be fatal.
Other hazards in the kitchen include burns and scalds, which is mostly caused by kettles and fire caused by food being left on the cooker. These hazards can be prevented by:
The use of cordless jug kettles
Not carrying hot liquids further than necessary
Only boil sufficient water for immediate needs
Fit a fireguard
Ensure that fire alarms are checked regularly and fitted with a ten-year battery
Ensure Carbon Monoxide Detectors are fitted and in a working condition
Most of the accidents at home involving older people are because of failing health or frailty. Accidents can be reduced by making Carers and older people aware of all hazards and unsafe habits of which avoiding slips and trips and accidents in the kitchen are at the top of the list.
If you would like to talk to our friendly live-in care specialists about arranging live-in care, call us on 0800 980 3958 (freephone) or email firstname.lastname@example.org