Providing seniors in-home health care worthy of the name can be a difficult task to master—often, it’s the smallest details of seniors in-home health care that matters most, but these same details can easily slip by even a well-intended professional caretaker. Today we’re going to talk about three crucial tips to keep in mind as a caretaker or medical professional.
Make Safety a Priority
In-home health care can be fraught with pitfalls, many inherent to the unpredictability to a home environment; savvy caretakers take steps to minimize these risks by safety-proofing rooms of the house most likely to cause problems. Here are a few possibilities for your consideration:
- Eliminate slippery surfaces everywhere
- Store dishes and other daily necessities in easy-to-reach locations
- Keep sharp and otherwise dangerous tools and utensils in secure, consistent locations
- Secure medications and develop simple systems for tracking and taking them, if you cannot observe
- Install grab bars and other support systems as appropriate by stairs, bathrooms, beds, etc.
- Maintain effective day and night lighting
- Clear paths of obstructions, including cords and rugs
- Make emergency outreach simple and easy with emergency alert-wear or other systems
Mental Health Matters
It’s very easy for an attentive caretaker to notice every single physical threat to their charge, yet allow countless mental threats sail by unnoticed. Depression, dementia, and a host of other problems become very real threats to even the healthiest of seniors, even those with no past history of psychiatric symptoms.
Attention to this most insidious of problems can greatly enhance quality of life for all seniors under your care—and can show real results in physical outcomes as well.
Adaptability Saves Lives
Learning to pay attention to seniors as individuals and adapt to their circumstances should be considered a fundamental skill for any caretaker, especially in the variable environments of in-home health care. If a safety measure you implement is ignored or circumvented by a frustrated patient due to inconvenience or stubbornness, it can lead to disastrous consequences. Engaging the seniors in your care and finding solutions they can live with will lead to far, far superior outcomes.
Remember: These are people living in their own homes, and if you try to restrain how they live without their input they are apt to either find workarounds or become highly dissatisfied. The risk to body and mind cannot be understated—so pay attention and adapt!