Choosing personal or assistive care at home for a loved one entails various safety considerations on your part to ensure that you are not posing any threat to their health and safety. Due to the lack of coordination and reduced sensitivity to their environment, seniors sometimes lack the capacity to assess the features in their environment on whether it poses a hazard. According to estimates by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly one million people over age 65 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with the products they live with and use every day. Here are several products that can be installed into a loved one’s home to prevent these potential injuries:
- Raised toilet seat — Many seniors have knee or muscle problems that cause pains whenever they need to sit on lower surfaces. Installing an adjustable raise toilet seat enables seniors to go to the bathroom conveniently, but it also helps prevent further medical problems
- Grab bars for toilet and shower — Grab bars offer similar advantages to the raised toilet seat. They aid weak knees when getting off the toilet and give senior family members a place to lean on while showering. SurfMed offers this package with four different sizes.
- Hand-held shower head — As seniors lose some of their mobility and flexibility, it is harder and harder to move around freely and to get water into all those “hard-to-reach” areas. It also allows them to adjust the temperature of the water before pointing the shower head at themselves and can be used easily from a seated position. As an added bonus, it allows them to access the shower while it’s still dry, decreasing the risk of falling. SurfMed has a variety of options ranging from basic, inexpensive ones to deluxe versions with tons of settings.
- Bath benches or chairs — Bath benches are helpful for people that tire easily and need to sit down frequently. They can be used by senior who fatigue easily or have issues with standing balance. However, if a senior has difficulty stepping into or out of a bathtub or shower, they may require more support for this transfer than can be provided with a bench or chair.
- Reachers — Reachers can lower the requirement to put a senior’s body’s on the line. Very simple movements can become unattainable and may end up being the trickiest to deal with. For example, simply using lotions, sunscreen oils, and creams can become troublesome. There are many adapters for reachers, including a lotion applicator. They even come in this folding design, available from SurfMed.
- Other products that can be beneficial for loved ones include button loopers and zipper pulls, specialized dinner ware, single-level faucets, and touch- tone telephones with large numbers and speaker or hands-free settings.
Due to the growing popularity of in-home care for seniors, it’s important to make sure you and your loved one are aware of the potential dangers and difficulties present in the home and prepare accordingly. The best part about giving loved ones these safety features is that they will no longer rely on other people for some of their day-to-day tasks – this gives them a better sense of independence, something that is crucial to them in these later stages of life.
These products and many more that can potentially make a home much safer for elderly family members are available from SurfMed, a pharmacy and home medical supplies company. All of their products are available to view and order from their website, www.surfmed.com or via phone call at 305-866-0718.