If you have a loved one who has a disability it’s only natural that you would look out for their well-being. And while you would likely prefer to be with them at all times, stepping away from your job and other responsibilities may not be feasible. In the instances where you have to leave your loved one home alone, there are quite a few ways you can keep them safe.
1) Replace door knobs with door handles
Some disabilities rob people of their ability to form a strong grip which can make dealing with a doorknob extremely difficult. In emergency situations this could lead to injury or even worse. You can overcome this issue by replacing all of your door knobs with door handles. The beauty of door handles is they can be opened with minimal effort which makes your home that much safer for a loved one with a disability.
2) Remove difficult barriers in your home
If your loved one is struggling with a physical disability then you should remove any barriers that can potentially hinder them. Take showers for instance, which can be challenging to navigate for those who struggle with walking.
Installing a barrier-free shower (showers that don’t have doors) is an excellent way to eliminate that possible danger. Assess the barriers in your home and remove any potential risks to those who struggle with a disability.
3) Use GPS devices for tracking
Memory conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease often lead to instances of confusion. As a result, those who suffer from Alzheimer’s may be in danger of wandering off and not being able to find their way back home. You can provide peace of mind for both yourself and a loved one by installing a GPS tracking app on their phone. This will allow you to track their location no matter where they are. If you suspect they’re lost than you can either locate them yourself or call emergency services and direct them to the exact location of your loved one.
4) Modify the countertops in your kitchen
Your countertops should have a flat surface. For one, they’re easier to clean, but more importantly, this allows you to move heavy pots and pans more easily as you slide them across the counter (as opposed to lifting them).
In terms of modifications, you should choose a dark countertop. This will provide greater contrast for those who have sight disabilities. Overall, this modification will improve kitchen safety for both yourself and your loved one.
5) Install anti-scalding devices
Individuals with memory problems may forget to turn off the stove or even forget how to operate the shower properly and may be in danger of scalding themselves. Install anti-scalding devices to overcome this issue. Anti-scalding devices automatically turn off water that gets too hot. This will reduce the chances of your loved one scalding themselves while you’re away from home.
6) Store everyday items in easy to reach places
To keep your loved one safe keep everyday items, such as silverware and glassware, in easy to reach places. Placing these essential items in hard to reach locations (such as a high cupboard) may lead to situations where your loved one may strain themselves as they attempt to reach upwards. This can lead to a wide variety of problems especially if you’re dealing with an elderly family member.
Make life easier by placing everyday items in easy to reach places such as waist-high drawers or countertops. This will lessen the danger of a disabled loved one from hurting themselves as they go about their day.
7) Raise up the toilet
If you live with a loved one who is wheelchair bound then using the toilet may prove to be a difficult task for them. Consider investing in a toilet that meets America with Disability Act (ADA) specifications.
The toilet should be taller than normal to make it that much easier for an individual to slide over from their wheelchair. Furthermore, the toilet needs to be designed in a way where extra space exists underneath the toilet so that it’s easier for the wheelchair to approach. Finally, the flush valve of the toilet should be easy to use as well.
8) Install a camera
One of the most effective ways to monitor a loved one while you’re away from home is to install security cameras. Security cameras can monitor their every move and ensure they’re safe at all times. While this may seem intrusive to some, monitoring your loved one with an internet camera can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved one.
Of course, there will be areas in the home where cameras should not be allowed (such as bedrooms and bathrooms). However, common areas such as the living room, kitchen, and the garage should be monitored at all times.
Keeping your loved ones safe
It can be difficult to keep your loved ones safe when you’re not around. Whether you have to quickly run to the store or go to work for a set time, follow these steps to ensure that your loved one remains safe while you’re away from home.