Keeping your parents safe at home as they age - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Keeping your parents safe at home as they age


Your older parents resist leaving their home for a senior citizens facility. You want to support them but you want to take steps to keep them safe.

Experts say there are easy things you can do to prevent your loved one from slipping and falling.

Randall Hembree knows. His mother fell and wound up in the emergency room getting stitches because she couldn't maintain her balance.

"The safe at home factor is always important," Hembree said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a third of seniors who visit the ER do so because of an accident at home. And most injuries can be prevented.

You should declutter homes and secure all rugs in order to eliminate tripping hazards. Experts recommend using double-sided tape to ensure the carpets stick to the floor, or put a pad underneath.

Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous areas. You should spend $10 to $15 to install grip bars on bathtubs.

"It's a lot better than grabbing a towel bar because a towel bar will fall down," said Steve Boos, owner of Home Instead in Liberty. "You have the handheld showerhead, you have the grab bar and then the shower chair here."

You can install a door that swings all the way open so that people in walkers and wheelchairs have easy access.

Hembree took the expert's advice and made his parents' home a lot safer.

"The safety features have been a tremendous benefit and have allowed them to stay here comfortably and for a long time," Hembree said.

Experts also suggest posting emergency contact numbers where neighbors or caregivers can easily find them and get you or your loved one the help they may need.

Click here for a home safety checklist. The AARP also has resources at its website. Click here.

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