Imagine this. You’re sitting at your desk at work and you get a phone call from Mum. She had a fall in the middle of the night and no-one was around to help – eight hours later, the neighbours found her lying on the floor. It’s the third time it’s happened in four months, and you’re scared for her safety.
Maintaining independence is important for most Australian seniors. Sadly, some feel that if they keep having accidents that their only option to ensure their well-being is to go into a nursing home. Thankfully, Mum and Dad don’t need to be forced into getting a carer or going to a nursing home if they don’t want to by taking preventative measures to reduce their risk of having an accident, or investing in a Personal Emergency Response System for their personal use, meaning emergency assistance is available at all times!
Talk With Your Parents
Sitting down and having an open discussion with your parents is the first step in helping them understand your concern for their well-being. As most parents don’t want to go to a nursing home, reassure them that you don’t want to take away their freedom and that their safety is your highest priority, but that you’re worried about them as you can’t always be there for them.
See A Doctor
After talking with Mum or Dad, it is vital that Mum or Dad have a conversation with their doctor to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions causing them to have accidents. Always ensure that your parents follow the professional medical advice they receive from their doctor.
To decrease the likelihood of your parents having an accident some preventative measures can be put in place, and may save Mum or Dad a trip to the hospital.
- Invest in a walking aid, like a cane or walking frame, to improve balance
- Install sturdy railings on stairs
- Ensure every room is well lit, and that the light is near the doorway so it can be turned on before entering the room
- Place a night light in the bathroom
- Make sure there is no clutter or tripping hazards on the floor
- Secure electrical cords across the wall with self-adhesive cord clips rather than ran along the floor
- Place rugs on a non-slip rug pad to prevent rugs from moving
- Move most commonly used items to easy to reach places, ideally between hip and eye-level
- If items are out of reach and it is necessary to use a step-ladder, ensure it is sturdy with a broad base and handrails
- Avoid wearing slip-on shoes, shoes with little grip, or shoes with a heel greater than one inch, as these increase the risk of falling
- 60% of falls happen in the bedroom from poor lighting, clutter on the floor, and getting in and out of bed – make sure that your bed is a reasonable height, and that the mattress is firm to make getting in and out of bed easier
- Purchase chairs that have a solid armrest, as these are easier to get in and out of
- Place a non-slip bath mat in the shower and bath to avoid slipping
- Install handrails in the shower and toilet
- Make sure surfaces outside the home are flat and maintained
Personal Emergency Response Systems
Although the above measures help reduce the chance of Mum or Dad having an accident, they may still get hurt – this is where our Medical Alarms or Mobile Emergency Pendants come in. These devices provide your parents with care and assistance when they need it most with direct communication with the APERS 24/7 Control Room Care Team by the simple press of a button. Then, our Care Team can contact your parents’ designated emergency contact or emergency services, if necessary.
Give yourself the comfort of knowing that your parents have access to emergency assistance at any time, 365-days a year with our range of emergency response units. Call us on 1300 852 148 or contact our support team for more information!