10 Tips for Keeping the Elderly Safe at Home

In recent years there has been an emphasis on the significance of preventative measures for keeping the elderly safe at home. Through proactive planning and the implementation of preventative strategies, it becomes feasible to maintain better health well into senior age.

Whether individuals are in good health or prone to poor health, taking these steps can limit the chance of hospital admissions and extend quality of life as well as life expectation. The government believes that prevention can “improve healthy life expectancy by at least 5 extra years”. But how do you keep the elderly safe at home?

To keep the elderly safe at home, you should follow these 10 tips:

  • Look for signs of poor health or deterioration
  • Keep a log of their health over time
  • Be conscious of diet and hydration
  • Go for regular health checks
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try to keep social and see people
  • Keep the brain stimulated
  • Prevent falls and tripping hazards
  • Manage medication effectively
  • Keep an emergency document ready

Read on to find out more about our top 10 tips for keeping the elderly safe at home, including health tracking, diet, exercise, and emergency documents.

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Signs of Deterioration in the Elderly

Look for signs of poor health before they develop further. When some conditions are caught early they can be treated at home and it can halt conditions from developing into something more serious.

Observe things like skin condition/integrity, oral hygiene, skin colouration both rashes and overall shade of skin (for example if someone looks more pale than normal), lethargic, quietness/overall moods, if urine smells stronger than normal, frequency of toilet visits, unusual behaviour and forgetfulness.

If in doubt call 999 in an emergency or if not deemed as an emergency call 111 or speak to your GP.

Health Tracking for the Elderly

Keep daily records detailing observations such as blood pressure, oxygen levels, food intake, urine and stool output, medication, wellbeing and more. Record keeping can help track if there are any changes which can then be matched.

One benefit from record keeping that we commonly see is when a client changes their medication and they have adverse effects. By monitoring when changes occurred to the change of medication we can present this to medical professionals who can be more responsive.

Food and Hydration for the Elderly

Be conscious of diet and hydration. By keeping a good diet with low sugar intake and staying hydrated can cut risks of many diseases. Visit a dietician or doctor to recommend a diet that takes into account age, health and other factors.

A good way of ensuring that you are hydrated is to use a water bottle with time markings. To ensure the right calories and food are eaten, mobile phone applications such as myfitnesspal help with ensuring that the right amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates and proteins have been consumed.

Elderly Health Check-ups

Have regular health check-ups and screening to ensure that the body is working optimally. Before conditions worsen or transpire to multiple conditions it is best to address any concerns and treat early.

Regular Exercise for the Elderly

Keep active – whether the individual has full range or limited mobility, it is important to do some form of exercise and to keep moving to keep the muscle tone.

MSD Manual states that “exercise can help prevent frailty and enhance functional ability in healthy or chronically ill older people. Exercise can help people who are frail preserve functional ability and reduce the incidence of accidents.”

When mobility is reduced, try using chair exercises.

Social Support

According to the Alzheimer’s website, “Social isolation can lead to an increased risk of developing dementia”. Social isolation can also affect wellbeing and many other aspects. It is important to have regular contact with the outside world.

The CDC reports that “Social isolation and loneliness have become widespread, posing a serious threat to our mental and physical health. Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to increased risk for: Heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety, addiction, suicidality and self-harm, dementia and earlier death.

Some ideas to tackle this are regular scheduled visits from family and friends, looking at befriending services, hiring a care company, visiting a day centre and looking at events run by groups, the local authority and religious groups.

Cognitive Stimulation and Brain Health

There is a famous saying “use it or lose it” The Alzheimer’s Society conducted a study about connections with increased brain activity. Studies show that people that keep their brain more stimulated are more likely to be free of dementia.

Declining brain health will affect things such as thinking, learning, motor function, emotions, how you respond to pressure, pain and temperature.

The National Institute of Aging states that “While some factors affecting brain health cannot be changed, there are many lifestyle changes that might make a difference”.

Think about doing brain teasers like word searches, sudoku,

There are resources for seniors with all levels of cognitive ability, relish manufactures activities specially made for adults with dementia.

Fall prevention

The NHS provide the following advice for avoiding falls at home:

  • Immediately mop up spillages
  • Remove clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
  • Use non-slip mats and rugs
  • Make sure all rooms, passages and staircases are well lit
  • Organise your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
  • Get help to do things you’re unable to do safely on your own
  • Do not walk on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • Do not wear loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • Wear well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
  • Taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or podiatrist (foot health professional) about any foot problems

Elderly Medication Management

Create a system to manage medications safely, we always recommend using blister packs made by pharmacies, setting reminders to take medications and regularly reviewing prescriptions with healthcare providers to prevent adverse drug interactions or overdoses.

Keep an Emergency Document

In the event that someone needs to go to hospital, having a document that can be grabbed is really useful, especially if someone has limited communication. Create a contact list and basic health summary that is easy to obtain in the event of an emergency. The document should contain useful information that can be used by emergency services. Along with next of kin and a health summary

Home Care Services With Rivendell Care

When receiving care services from Rivendell Care, we take a holistic approach and can perform a wide range of tasks and activities, regardless of the state of health. Our care includes:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Assistance with medication
  • Specialist care from care staff trained and experienced in Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s disease and stroke care
  • Flexible schedule of visits – from short regular visits, through longer visits, overnight care, to all-day care
  • Emotional support for you and your loved ones
  • Help with household chores such as cleaning or cooking
  • Time, diet and medication management tailored to individual needs
  • Accompaniment in all kinds of visits, from medical appointments to social visits
  • Promoting independence and restoring confidence
  • Record keeping
  • Activities and outings to keep simulated