Helping a parent settle back into his or her normal, pre-rehabilitation routine can be challenging. If you aren’t exactly sure how you can help, start by adjusting the house.
If your parent falls at their home, they could become seriously injured – especially if they are already recovering from a previous surgery.
Follow the tips outlined below and you will dramatically improve the safety of your parent’s home.
1. Mind The Footing
If your parent has any sort of throw rugs or loose carpeting around the home, put it away in a storage space. This way, they won’t slip and fall while trying to make his way to the bathroom, enter the kitchen or walk anywhere else within the home.
2. Consider The Placement Of Regularly Used Items
Take a moment to gather all of the items your parent uses on a regular basis. Put these items in central, easy-to-reach places within the home. Examples of such items include medication, remote controls, dishes, books and keys.
3. Let It Roll
Buy a desk chair with wheels so your parent can glide along the floor. This way, they won’t have to constantly stand up, sit down and walk in order to retrieve an object in their living room.
If your loved one had hip surgery, however, they may be unable to twist their legs to pivot the chair. If this is the case, you’ll want to ensure their chairs are not rolling.
4. Keep The House Bright
Make sure your parent’s home is well lit. Ample lighting allows your parent to see their surroundings and identify objects that might cause them to trip. Don’t forget to add a nightlight to the bedroom and bathroom. Doing this will help prevent falls in the event that they wake up in the middle of the night and need to use the restroom.
5. Have Mail Delivered To The Door
Don’t force your parent to walk all the way out to the outdoor mailbox after rehab. Contact the post office to request that his mail be delivered right to his door. You may also offer to bring in mail when you come and visit if you come buy on a weekly basis.
6. Move Food To Lower Cupboards
Place food in easy-to-reach places where your parent doesn’t have to reach up or bend down to get it. If they don’t have any cupboards at the right height in their house, consider bins, turning them sideways, and putting them on kitchen counters for easy access.
7. Prepare The Shower
Place a shower chair in the shower so your parent does not have to stand or bend down when they take a bath. This is essential for preventing falls, as tubs and showers are often the biggest culprits. Add a slip-proof mat to help keep them from slipping.
You may also consider buying a shower shelf to store their shampoos and soaps at chair level. Hand-held shower heads will also help.
8. Make Bathroom Safety A Priority
It won’t take long to install handrails next to or directly onto the toilet. These will help your recuperating parent get up and down with ease. You may also need to purchase a raised seat extention so they don’t have to bend down as far to sit. This is especially the case for those who have had hip surgery.
9. Add A First Floor Bed
Don’t force your parent to climb the stairs in order to sleep. Put a mattress and box springs on the first floor so they can transition to bed without having to traverse those dangerous stairs. Have your parent try the bed to ensure it is high enough for them to lay on comfortably. You may need to add extenders to the bedframe.
10. Consider Removing Small Pets From the Home
If your parent has one or several small pets, let them spend a week or so at your house. This way, your parent won’t trip and fall over his furry friend.
Find more tips for helping your loved one prevent falls. Our Fall Prevention Guide will give you even more tips to help your parent stay healthy and prevent devastating falls.