Whether they live at home or at an elderly facility, older adults are at high risk for several types of injuries including falls or accidental poisoning. They are also prone to several medical emergencies due to their failing health. While it is almost impossible to prevent all accidents and emergencies, some steps can be taken to help prevent them or at least minimize their effects on the elderly. Below are some safety tips for ensuring their bedrooms are as safe and comfortable as possible.
1. Keep emergency contact numbers handy
It's always wise to make a list of important emergency contact numbers close to the phone or posted inside an elder's room. It should be written in large print that you or someone else can read easily and clearly even if you're in a hurry or panic. Include the numbers for an ambulance, poison control, a primary healthcare provider's number for emergencies, and the contact number of a family or friend in case of emergency.
2. Prevent Fall
Elderly people are most at risk for falls due to weakened musculoskeletal system or side effects of medications. It's always important to put in place safety measures, whether in the bedroom or the home in general, to help prevent falls. Fall prevention usually begins with a special falls risk assessment, usually done by a physician. After the assessment, those most at risk will be recommended a specialized exercise program to help prevent falls.
Elderlies can also equip themselves with an alarm bracelet or necklace with which they can press if they've fallen and could not get to a phone. It's also recommended that they use a mobile phone or cordless phone so they don't have to rush to it when it rings. Walkers and canes are also an option for older adults instead of holding unto walls and furniture when getting around the house. And when walking on smooth floors, they should be wearing non-slip footwear like slippers with a rubber or non-slip bottoms.
3. Bedbug-proof elderly's rooms
Not many people realize that bedbugs are a growing health issue for the elderly. Bites from these pests can cause skin rashes and nodules that are often itchy and result in skin infection. Bedbugs also carry a lot of bacteria as well as parasitic worms. Most people don't feel the bite of bedbugs and only notice it when rashes appear on the skin.
Elderly rooms are most prone to bedbug infestation since they have a weakened immune system which makes them react differently to bites. Add to that, seniors spend a lot of time in bed which makes them a prime target for these pesky bugs. Bites from bedbugs can result in skin infection and bedsores when it's not addressed immediately.
It's best to check bedbug issues in rooms regularly. Once signs point to a possible infestation, it's best to call in expert pest control and exterminator to tackle the problem properly.
4. Safety-proof the room
For elderlies who are most at risk for falls and injuries, their rooms must be cleared of clutter and organized well. Paths towards the door should be clear of objects like books and shoes. Rails and other handholds can be installed on walls and in hallways leading to the bathroom if their rooms don't have a private one. Avoid putting rugs inside their rooms or right by their door. Or, another option would be to take the rugs to the floor so they don't move when people walk on them.
5. Prevent accidental position
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can be deadly when inhaled. It is a by-product of burning so make sure that stoves, oven, and grills are put out at all times. Install carbon monoxide detectors in all bedrooms, not just the elderly, and make sure it is tested regularly and the batteries replaced at least twice a year.
Adults are also prone to overdosing on medications due to poor eyesight. Make sure that medications are in their original containers to avoid mixing them up. Ask pharmacists to print the labels in large prints to make it easier to read, or print a more readable label that also includes dosage and timing. Elderly bedrooms should also be well-lit for safety as well as an easier time taking their medications.
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