Aging can lead to bad habits. Whether it be from lack of energy, injury, illness or forgetfulness, the state of the home is a common warning sign that an older adult may need help around the house. While many of these signals may be obvious, there are also more subtle manifestations that can appear.
There are a number of questions to ask yourself during your next visit to your loved one’s house. Here are some home hazards for elderly adults:
- Has there been any significant change in the general appearance of the home (cleanliness, disrepair, etc.)?
- Are all areas of the home well lit?
- Are all steps and hallways clear of clutter and potential tripping hazards?
- Is the refrigerator clean and well stocked with fresh food?
- Are railings and door handles secure?
- Are there expired medications or unfinished prescriptions in the medicine cabinet?
- Is there a non-slip bathmat in the tub to help prevent falls?
In addition to asking yourself the questions above, keep an eye out for any additional unsafe conditions and offer to help out with any necessary repairs, maintenance issues or adjustments. Once again, make every effort to be observant without appearing to be “checking up on” your parent, friend or relative.
If you have seen these signs and knew it was time for in-home care, please share you experience in the comments below.