Your dad’s getting older, and he’s not as steady on his feet as he used to be. He insists that downsizing to a one-level home isn’t an option. How can you help him heighten the safety in his home?
Choose the Right Furniture
The furniture in your dad’s home is important. If his sofa or favorite chair sags, he may struggle to stand up from it. Ideally, he wants a sofa that’s firm, without being rock hard and uncomfortable. He needs arms that support him as he stands up.
When sitting, your dad’s knees should be slightly lower than his hips. This makes it easier to stand up.
His mattress needs to offer support to keep his back or hips from aching. If he wakes up and his joints ache, it can lead to a poor night’s sleep. Plus, he’s already aching when he gets up.
Add Technology Where It Makes Sense
Technology can help your dad stay safe, too, so don’t overlook it. Smart bulbs can turn on and off, fully or partially, with a vocal command. You can remotely monitor the temperature in your dad’s home if he has a smart thermostat.
A video doorbell is a great tool to see who comes to your dad’s door. If the person shouldn’t be there, he can tell them to leave. With the remote two-walk speaker available with apps, you can identify potential scammers and send them away before your dad even answers the door.
If your dad is prone to falling, motion detectors or a smartwatch can alert people if he falls. With medic alert systems, your dad will be asked if he’s okay via his device. If he doesn’t respond, a call goes to a close family member or neighbor to assess him for injuries. If he is injured, he has someone with him until an ambulance arrives.
Complete Routine Inspections
Go through your dad’s home and look for common problems. Check for loose railings on the stairs inside and outside of his house. If he has wood, tile, or laminate flooring, make sure any decorative rugs have non-slip backing. Carpeted floors should be checked for rips or wrinkles that can lead to his tripping.
Make sure he has working smoke, fire (heat), and carbon monoxide detectors. They should be tested each month to ensure they’re working. Take them down and check the date code. Any detectors that have expired should be replaced.
Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Clutter needs to be removed. Your dad wants essential items for his comfort and health, but if he has too many items that don’t get used, it’s time to remove some clutter in his rooms. When items take valuable floor or table space, it can increase the risk of a fall.
Have you talked to your dad about home care services? He can have caregivers around to help him complete daily tasks that he has a harder time completing independently. Ask him what he thinks, and get a list of questions together to ask a home care advisor.