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Making the Yard a Safe Place for Seniors

Elderly Care in Wake Forest, NC – Focusing on Safety Outside Your Elderly Loved One’s Home

Elderly Care in Wake Forest, NCThe warm weather and fresh air of spring make this the perfect time for your elderly parents to head outside and enjoy some time out of their homes after months of being stuck inside because of the unpleasant winter weather. Getting out and having some outdoor fun is a great way to encourage extra physical exercise and give your parents a boost in their mental and emotional health, but it is important to make sure these adventures are as safe as possible.

Making yard safety a part of your elderly care plan can be just as important as ensuring your parents are safe when they are inside their home. Planning ahead lets you take steps to make the yard safer for your parents before they head outside. Some of these steps include:

  • Eliminate tripping hazards. Falls are one of the greatest risks that seniors face. Take some time to walk around the yard identifying areas that pose tripping, slipping, and other fall risks. Note areas that are uneven and could benefit from extra soil to create level ground or pavers and stepping stones that sit too high up or are loose and may cause tripping. Be sure no gardening tools, hoses, or other items are left strewn throughout the yard. If the yard is too uneven, large, or rocky to make meaningful changes so your parents can enjoy the entire area, create a patio with smooth paving stones and furniture so they can get outside but remain safe.
  • Prevent pests. Pests such as mosquitoes, gnats, and wasps can ruin the fun of time outdoors. Make changes such as eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, adding citronella pest repellant torches around any sitting or entertainment areas, and sealing areas where wasps or hornets could make their nests. Be sure to use pest repellant when your seniors will spend time outdoors in the afternoon and evening and keep a long distance wasp killing spray close by to handle any sudden infestations.
  • Proper clothing. Be sure your parents are properly dressed each time they head out to enjoy time outside. Closed-toe shoes create the greatest control and prevent problems like stings, bites, and splinters on the feet. Choose light, breathable clothing during warm weather and encourage layers so they are not chilled in spring breezes. Encourage them to wear hats with broad brings to protect their eyes and delicate facial skin from the sun.
  • Sun protection. Many people only think about sunscreen when it is very hot outside, but the reality is the springtime sun is just as much a risk for skin. Ensure your parents wear sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor of 30 any time they will be outside for more than a few minutes.
  • Address wandering risks. The light and vitamin D provided by the sun can elevate the mood while being outside may encourage more physical activity. If your seniors are at risk of wandering behavior, however, time out in the lawn or garden can be dangerous. Equip your parents with GPS wristbands, shoes, or pendants that sends an alert if they move outside of a specific area so you or a referred caregiver can quickly find and return the senior home.
  • Add ample lighting. Whether your independent parents are early risers and enjoy a walk through the garden in pre-dawn hours or your parents’ referred caregiver likes to take them for a stroll around the yard after dinner, having ample lighting can be important for preventing falls. Make sure porch lights are sufficiently bright and consider adding solar lights along walkways and throughout the garden to provide extra illumination in the evening hours.

The articles posted on this blog are provided for general information and discussion purposes only.  These articles are not intended to suggest anything with respect to the operations or services of this office.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Raleigh, NC, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (919) 229-8944