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Resources, Gadgets and Tools for Care at Home Series

Part 3: Keep safety a top priority.

Every year, 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 fall, so fall prevention is paramount. Many of the modifications listed above help prevent this kind of accident. And sometimes a very simple adjustment can help. For example, I took the wheels off my dad's chair so it wouldn’t move when he stood up. We have a sunken living room, and a visiting friend once fell off the edge and fractured her ribs. To prevent this from recurring, I lined up furniture along the edges so Mom and Dad couldn’t slip from there.

Preventing a loved one from getting lost is also critical. Monitors and alerts can be a big help when someone has dementia. I placed a motion sensor in the hallway, so I was alerted if Dad, who had Alzheimer’s disease, passed by it. In addition, I placed a floor mat with an alarm next to his bed. For Mom, I had bed and chair-seat alarm pads. Even a simple door alarm, found in your local hardware store, can give you peace of mind. These alarms can also help prevent falls if your loved one isn’t safe walking around the home alone.

Medical equipment and mobility aids, including canes, walkers, wheelchairs and shower chairs, are often key to preventing falls. Lift chairs, entry ramps and wheelchair lifts can be helpful, too.

Stay tuned for Part 4 - Caregiving devices and apps

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