Skip to content

Providing Care in Sonoma, Napa, & Marin Counties
Call (707) 573-1003

4 Ways to Make the House Safer for Your Aging Parent

As a family caregiver to an older parent, one of the things you may be concerned about is how safe your parent is in their home. There are lots of things that could cause an injury at home and plenty of accidents that could happen. However, there are many ways family caregivers can help their parents to prevent accidents and injuries in their homes.

Below are 4 easy ways that you can improve the safety of your parent’s home.

Caregiver Petaluma CA - 4 Ways to Make the House Safer for Your Aging Parent

Caregiver Petaluma CA – 4 Ways to Make the House Safer for Your Aging Parent

#1: Make Sure Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers Work

Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are often neglected safety measures. However, they are an extremely important way of keeping your parent safe from a fire. Test smoke alarms regularly and change the batteries at least every six months. Many experts suggest changing the batteries when the clocks change for daylight savings time. If you might forget, set a reminder in your smartphone. Fire extinguishers often have expiration dates. Caregivers should replace the fire extinguishers in their parent’s home if they aren’t sure how old they are. Also, make sure your parent knows how to use the fire extinguisher.

#2: Install Grab Bars and Handrails

Grab bars and handrails give your parent something to hold on to when they are feeling unsteady. They are especially important in the bathroom since slippery surfaces make a fall more likely. Grab bars should be placed near the toilet and bath or shower. Handrails should be installed on both sides of all stairways. If there is a long hall in the house, caregivers may want to install a handrail along the wall.

#3: Consider Some Smart Home Upgrades

Today’s technology offers all kinds of upgrades that can make the home safer. For example, a doorbell that allows the older adult to see who is at the door before they open it can keep them safe from intruders. Your parent might also benefit from a smart home upgrades that allow them to turn on the television or make a phone call using just their voice. This can be especially helpful if they should fall and need help.

#4: Improve the Lighting

Dim lighting in the home can cause your parent to trip over something or bump into furniture. Outside the house, poor lighting can leave your parent’s home vulnerable to intruders. It can also make it difficult for them to unlock the door at night or lead to a fall on the walkway to the front door. If possible, increase the wattage of the bulbs in light fixtures, but be sure to stay within the safe wattage for the fixture. Caregivers may need to have additional light fixtures installed. Also, place nightlights along the pathway to the bathroom, so your parent can see as they make their way during the nighttime hours.

Sources:  https://www.seniorliving.org/safety/home/
https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2017/home-safety-tips.html
https://dailycaring.com/home-safety-for-seniors-13-home-kitchen-fixes-in-one-day/

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Caregiver Services in Petaluma CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.

Latest posts by Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS (see all)