In Home Care for the Elderly and Ill

Caregiver Safety Tips: In Home Care for the Elderly and Ill

With the popularity of in home care for seniors on the rise, maintaining a safe environment is a critical aspect of in home caregiving. Moreover, frum families who opt to care for their aging or ailing parent or family member at home are adhering to core Torah principles of honoring one’s mother and father, respect for the elderly, and personify ma’aseh avot siman l’banim as their actions serve as an exemplary role model for chinuch banim – for their children’s education.

When it comes to senior care, preventing falls and accidents are part of the potential hazards caregivers should be aware of, in addition to safety precautions required for individuals with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive deficits, balance and ambulation issues, and more.

So how can caregivers create a safe and comfortable living space for themselves and their client or family member? Here are some expert tips on how to keep your loved ones at home safe and how to make caregiving safer, easier, and more effective.

Caregiver General In Home Safety Guide

  • Post emergency phone numbers and your address next to each telephone
  • Keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand
  • Equip every room with a smoke detector
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor
  • Safe-proof your home from falls, slips, and trips
  • Do not use slippery wax on floors
  • Tack down scatter rugs
  • Promptly wipe up spills
  • Equip staircases with sturdy rails and good lighting
  • Never smoke in bed or when alone

Caregiver Bathroom Safety Guide

  • Install secure rails and other aids to shower/bath walls and to the sides of the toilet
  • Leave a light or nightlight on at night
  • Use a bathmat with a non-slip bottom
  • Mark hot and cold faucets
  • Install door locks that can be opened from both sides
  • To prevent scalding, set water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below

Caregiver Kitchen Safety Guide

  • Purchase a kettle with an automatic shut-off
  • Safely store sharp knives and other sharp objects
  • Clearly mark on/off positions of appliances
  • Keep floor space uncluttered
  • Store heavy shelf items below waist level
  • Do not wear loose or hanging clothing while cooking
  • Check food expiration dates regularly
  • Supervise cooking activities as needed

Caregiver Medication Safety Guide

  • Securely store medications in designated area or medicine cabinet
  • Carefully label all medicines, including correct dosages
  • Invest in a convenient medication dispenser
  • Never borrow prescriptions drugs
  • Pay attention to expiry dates and dispose of old medicines
  • Never mix alcohol and meds
  • Always check with a doctor before mixing prescription and non-prescription drugs

General In Home Safety Tips for Caregivers

  • Minimize falling injuries with stable furniture with round (not sharp) edges
  • Keep furniture layout the same
  • Place familiar items within easy reach
  • Prevent unsafe/nighttime wandering by installing childproof locks or high door latches
  • Remove/secure long electrical cords which pose a tripping hazard
  • Practice a fire-escape plan
  • Keep flashlights and batteries on hand for power outages
  • Use a sturdy ladder to reach high places, not a box or chair

By keeping your charges safe, you will live up to your duties as a caregiver, fulfill many positive Torah commandments, and provide a worthy service for someone in need.

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