Hiring a professional in-home caregiver is one way to ensure that your aging-in-place loved one enjoys a higher quality of life. Once the home caregiving visits start, you’ll also need to address the safety of both the care provider and care recipient.
Maintaining a safer home environment before, during and after caregiving visits takes some planning and preparation on your part. Using these tips from the pros should make the process a more rewarding one.
Occupational Risks In-Home Caregivers Face
These are some of the safety risks that home care workers face while assisting clients inside or outside their homes:
- Unsanitary conditions
- Cluttered, tight spaces
- Dangerous pets
- Aggressive and even violent behaviors
- Sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal injuries
- Poor air quality
- Fall-related injuries including fractures, cuts and bruises
- Motor vehicle accidents
Because they oftentimes work in uncontrolled home environments, thousands of home care professionals are injured on-the-job every year. For some, those occupational injuries are permanent or even life-threatening.
How You Can Help
As a concerned party, here’s how to ensure that your senior’s home environment is a safer one for both caregiver and care recipient:
Clean and disinfect
Protect your loved one and their caregiver from illnesses and infections by carefully cleaning and sanitizing exposed surfaces before-and-after caregiving visits. Disinfect frequently touched items in the home like doorknobs, countertops, electronic devices, furniture, sinks and faucets. Since shoes and tracked dirt particles can also carry germs, don’t forget the floors. To improve air quality, make sure that the home is well-ventilated and smoke-free.
Safe proof the bathroom
Slip-and-fall accidents in the bathroom injure scores of seniors and caregivers every year. Help prevent injurious falls by installing grab bars near the toilet and in the tub area. Remove trip hazards like throw rugs and place non-skid strips in the tub or shower. A shower chair and handheld shower wand will also make bathing safer for both your senior and their caregiver.
Minimize transferring risks
If your loved one is a larger individual, minimize the potential for transferring injuries by equipping their caregiver with a transfer system like a patient lift. Doing so will reduce transfer risks for both parties, for example when transferring your loved one from a bed to a wheelchair. It may also be beneficial to find your senior a lower bed that’s comfortable to sleep on.
Secure all pets
Even the nicest dogs can become aggressive and protective when they sense that their owners are being threatened. When allowed to move about freely loose pets can also cause injurious falls. Ask your senior to secure their dog or cat before their caregiver arrives.
The homes of many seniors are filled with boxes, old furniture and other personal belongings. Tight, cluttered spaces are dangerous for older adults and those caring for them. Create a safer workspace for client and caregiver by removing trip-and-fall hazards from high traffic areas- especially in hallways and near stairs.
Address aggressive behaviors
According to OSHA, thousands of healthcare workers every year experience workplace violence in the form of verbal abuse, assaults, and stalking. Seniors with dementia- including those with Sundowner’s syndrome– can become overly aggressive and even lash out at their caregivers. Help prevent aggressive behaviors and violent outbursts by hiring a professional who’s experienced at working with clients that have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Keeping At-Home Seniors Safe & Comfortable is Our Specialty
Keeping an aging-in-place senior and their caregiver safe isn’t always easy when you’re busy or live far away. At Dependable Senior Care, our highly qualified professionals understand the importance of maintaining a safe home environment while serving clients and their families. To restore your peace-of-mind, our licensed and insured in-home caregivers are well trained on the latest safety protocols. At DSC, we are owned and operated by healthcare professionals with over 80 years of combined experience.
For your added convenience, our personalized in-home solutions are available 7 days a week, ranging from a few hours per day, to 24-hour and live-in care. Daily living assistance services that we provide include personal care, respite care, nursing assistance, companionship care, and dementia and Alzheimer’s care. With offices in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Dependable Senior Care is your family trusted, in-home senior care provider in South Florida! To learn more now, or to schedule an initial consultation, please visit us at www.dependableseniorcare.com.