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Old carpets and slippery tiles: 8 dangers that threaten old people at home

'13.04.2021'

Source: Lifehacker

Our grandparents require more attention as they get older. What should be considered to make their life more comfortable and safe - says Lifehacker.

Photo: Shutterstock

Collected tips to help protect parents and grandparents from injuries and accidents.

  1. Defective electrical appliances

An iron or a loose socket left on the ironing board can cause a fire. Another risk factor is faulty wiring: it is it that causes fires in residential buildings in 40% of cases.

In older people, vision often falls, hearing leaves much to be desired, and the reaction speed is no longer the same as in youth. They may not notice the starting fire in time, and when they realize the danger, they are unlikely to be able to extinguish the flame on their own and get out of the apartment filled with smoke.

What to do

Do not over tighten to repair crackling sockets. It is better not to do this yourself (unless, of course, you are an electrician), but entrust the work to professionals.

Send defective electrical appliances for repair, and those that cannot be repaired ruthlessly send to a landfill. If you decide to upgrade your iron, electric heater or kettle, choose options that have protection against overheating or accidental activation. For example, an iron left unattended will not heat up, and the kettle simply cannot be turned on if there is no water in it.

  1. Walking in unfamiliar places

And even in friends - due to poor eyesight and disorientation in space, an elderly person can get lost on the usual route from home to the store. People with dementia are at risk: their memory impairments are further complicated by behavioral changes. They seem to live in a world of memories and can easily go to their previous job, although they have been retired for several decades, or go in search of the house where they lived in childhood.

What to do

Buy a mobile phone for your grandparents so that they can quickly contact you in any incomprehensible situation and explain how to use it. A fancy smartphone is not needed. Choose models with simple controls, convenient buttons and a large screen, and at the same time prepare a memo on how to use it all.

It happens that aged people forget their address and, moreover, the phone numbers of loved ones. In this case, put notes in your pockets and bags with the name of your grandparents, their address and contacts where you can be contacted. If suddenly an elderly relative gets lost, the note will help passers-by to return him home.

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In order not to worry about where a loved one is now, give him a smartwatch with a GPS tracker that monitors the owner's movements and sends data about where he is now to the application on your smartphone. There are models that accept audio and even video calls, and you yourself choose who can call the device so that spammers do not overpower grandparents.

  1. Carpets

The favorite interior detail of any self-respecting grandmother is actually quite insidious. Small rugs, which can go underfoot at the most inopportune moment, and large products are also dangerous, especially if they have a long fringe or bent corners.

A good old carpet can cause injury. An elderly person with poor vision and difficulty walking may stumble and fall. It's good if you do without injuries, but falls often lead to fractures, and it can be difficult to just get up without assistance.

What to do

We do not suggest throwing away all the carpets - grandmother will definitely not approve of this. However, it is still worth getting rid of specimens whose edges have completely blossomed. Or at least cut and glue the dangling threads.

Attach the perimeter carpet to the floor using double-sided tape or silicone sealant - apply in stripes at 10-15 centimeters intervals on the inside of the garment and let dry completely. Place a non-slip mat underneath the small rugs in the hallway and kitchen. And do not forget about the wires - it is also better to remove them from the floor and attach to the wall or hide them in cable channels.

  1. Low lighting

When vision falls, the light from the usual five-light chandelier is not enough even during the day, not to mention the dark. And if at night you want to drink or go to the toilet, you will first need to get to the switch. It seems as if there is nothing difficult in this, but walking in the dark, asleep and with poor coordination can result in a couple of fresh bruises. Even in familiar surroundings, it's easy to bump into a corner, stumble and fall.

What to do

Replace the bulbs in each room with brighter ones. Additional light sources will need to be installed in places where natural rays are not enough even during the day. Usually this is an entrance hall, corridors, and in private houses there are also stairs. A floor lamp or a table lamp will also be needed where the elderly person spends a lot of time - for example, in the kitchen, near the sofa, or on the desk. There should be a small bedside table next to the bed: you can put a night light on it so as not to look for a switch in the dark, and also put the necessary medicines and glasses. Make sure that it will be easy for grandparents to turn on the night light without getting out of bed.

  1. Inconvenient bathroom

With age, coordination is no longer the same, and joint problems more and more often remind of themselves. A simple shower for old people turns into a test: you have to get into the bath, wash, somehow get out of it and still not fall. Even going to the toilet becomes a problem, because it is also difficult to sit down and get up without assistance and reliable support.

At the same time, the elderly resist attempts to help to the last: after all, the process is quite intimate. In a good way, the bathroom and toilet need to be upgraded even before the grandparents have problems with movement, so that they get used to the new environment.

What to do

Changing a bath for a shower is not the best solution. The floor in the cab is slippery, the sides are usually quite high, and there will still be splashes of water on the floor. In addition, a person who has used a regular bathroom all his life will find it difficult to adapt to washing in a tight space.

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To make the process easier, buy a special washing seat. It is attached to the bathtub and, depending on the model, can withstand up to 200 kilograms; there are options with a swivel mechanism so that you do not have to storm a high side. Install grab rails near the toilet and on the wall above the bathtub so you can stand up without assistance.

  1. Gas stove

The most obvious danger is gas leaks. An elderly person may forget to turn off the stove or not keep track of the boiling soup, and he will run away from the pan and put out the fire. It's also good if the culprit of the leak himself notices it in time or vigilant neighbors come running to the smell of gas.

Stoves with open fire are also dangerous: one has only to reach for a saucepan on the far burner, as the flame from the nearest one can spread to the clothes. That is why it is worth getting rid of the colorful synthetic robes that are popular among grandmothers. They quickly flare up and stick to the body - it will take some time to knock down the fire or throw off the burning clothes, which means that the risk of burns increases significantly.

What to do

Half measures are not enough here, you will have to change the old stove to a more modern one - better with two burners, it's safer. Choose models with a gas-control system. If the flame is extinguished, the gas supply will stop, so there will be no leakage. Electric ignition will not hurt either: old people do not have to fiddle with matches, so the risk of an accidental fire will be lower.

For safety reasons, install a smart gas sensor: fix it on the kitchen ceiling at a distance of a couple of meters from the stove so that there are no false alarms. As soon as the sensor detects a leak, it will immediately give a light and sound signal and send you an alert on your smartphone.

  1. Abundance of furniture

It can even be difficult to walk in a room full of everyone in a row, especially when every step is already difficult. If you fall, you can automatically grab the bookcase and bring down the furniture on yourself along with all the good standing on it, or crash into the glass cabinet door. Sharp corners of tables and nightstands are also dangerous - this is an additional risk of injury.

Finally, old chairs and stools, which seem to be still strong, only slightly wobble, can also cause bruises and abrasions. If a person climbs onto such a chair to wipe the dust or get something from the mezzanine or the top shelf of the cabinet, the legs may not support the weight and part or break.

What to do

Arrange the furniture around the perimeter of the room so that the passage is free and you do not have to maneuver between the table, whatnot and bedside table. Glue soft protective pads on sharp corners. Tidy up the closets and move all the things that a person often uses from the upper shelves to about waist level so that you do not have to stretch or bend over.

It's time to get rid of loose stools and replace them with sturdy and stable furniture. By the way, you can buy a special chair with a step so that you don't have to raise your legs high. Finally, check the height of the bed: it should be such that the person sitting can put their feet on the floor.

  1. Slippery floor

Slipping on wet linoleum or tiles is a piece of cake. It can be difficult to maintain balance even for young and healthy people, and for old people who already find it difficult to move and, moreover, to group in time when falling, this is an overwhelming task.

At best, the fall will result in a couple of bruises, but it can also lead to fractures or concussion. And if you don't have enough strength to get up, get to the phone and call a doctor, the situation becomes critical.

What to do

Check the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom: after washing and washing dishes, there should be no splashes on the floor. If the floor is still wet, replace the mixers with shorter ones. Place rubber mats on the floor near the sink and sink to absorb moisture.

If the house has a staircase, it must also be provided with a non-slip coating. Cover the edges of steps and thresholds with wide colored tape so that they can be seen even with poor eyesight. Finally, present your family members with comfortable slippers with a heel that securely fixes the foot, and a rubber sole so that it does not slip on the floor.

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