This weekend marks the annual celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, a day designed to honor those we truly love. On this day, we let that special someone know how much we care about them. Traditionally this is done with candles, chocolates, flowers, champagne and mushy cards. And maybe a little much deserved alone time. But this year, after the champagne runs out and the candles burn down, let’s keep the love flowing by taking some extra time to mull over the safety and the well-being of the others we love (maybe in not such a mushy way).
The most important way we can show concern for our senior loved ones who are living in the community is to enable them to stay in their own homes. To do that, we must start to pay attention to the possible slip and fall danger zones; especially, the bathroom. One third of all falls that occur at home happen in the bathroom. And falls are a leading cause of long-term care placement.
So the next time you visit your loved one’s home, excuse yourself for a long bathroom break and make note of the following things:
Are the floors slippery when wet?
Are there rugs and if so, are they non-skid?
Are the bathtub/shower features easy for your loved one to maneuver?
Is there a grab-bar on the wall?
Is it difficult for your loved one to get into and out of the bathtub/shower?
Do they have easy to turn handles on the faucets?
If you are concerned about the safety of your loved one’s bathroom, consider consulting a home modification expert for advice. Finding out about effective and innovative assistive devices that can keep your loved one at home and in good health for as long as possible—now that’s the true meaning of love.
Today's Caregiver magazine