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January 12 | 2017

Is Your Elderly Parent Living Alone? Here Are 10 Things You Can Do To Keep Them Safe

When you have an elderly parent living alone, you don’t want to spend your days worrying about them. You can visit them often – but what happens when you leave? Here are 10 things you can do to keep your parent safe even when you’re not there.

Things You Can Do To Keep Your Elderly Parent Safe

  1. Medication list
    Keep detailed lists of your parent’s medications and allergies to ensure that in the case of an emergency, paramedics and doctors can access it quickly. You should pin this list up near the front door of your parent’s home, keep a copy on the fridge and one in your wallet or smartphone, too.

  2. Check-ins
    There are companies (like ProTELEC) that can arrange check-ins with your elderly parent periodically. You can have your parent receive phone calls or texts once a day, twice a day or as many times as you like to check-in and make sure they’re taking their medication on time and are safe.

  3. Install a peephole
    If your parent lives alone, they may receive deliveries for their medication and meals. Install a peephole allowing them to know exactly who’s at the door. Make sure to install the peephole at your elderly parent’s eye-level, otherwise they won’t be able to get a good view.

  4. Be neighbourly
    Establish a relationship with your elderly parent’s neighbours so that if they notice anything suspicious going on next door they can alert you immediately. Most people will be more than happy to check-in on your parent when you’re out of town or cannot due to work or other commitments.

  5. Equip the door with a lock box
    Lock boxes are small boxes placed around the handle of a front or back door that contain extra sets of keys. They are secured with a combination lock so that if your elderly loved one can’t get to the door and you don’t have a key to their home, you can still get inside.

  6. Test smoke alarms
    Make sure the smoke alarms in your elderly parent’s home are working by changing the batteries every six months.

  7. Try a stairlift
    If your elderly parent wishes to remain in their home and there’s an upstairs, either set up a bedroom for them downstairs or get them a stairlift. Your parent may still be nimble but climbing stairs when they’re in their golden years can be taxing on the knees and back leading to falls.

  8. Set up a safe bathroom
    Add handlebars around the toilet and in the bathtub/shower so your parent can easily manoeuvre when they’re in the bathroom. Additionally, add non-slip mats to their tub/shower and on the floor in front of it.

  9. Create a disaster kit
    Power outages, extreme weather – these things can happen on a moment’s notice. Create a disaster kit for your loved one so that in the event of an emergency they’ll have flashlights, batteries, dried food, blankets, bottled water, matches and candles on hand.

  10. Keep the floors carpeted
    Slips and falls are unfortunately a common occurrence as we get older. With carpeted floors in all or at least most of your elderly parent’s house you can rest easy knowing that them slipping on a wooden or tiled floor won’t happen.

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