The best caregiver gifts this holiday season are those that add safety and convenience to your loved one’s daily living environment. Feeling safe and protected is at the top of everyone’s list, and will go a long way toward giving both you and your aging loved ones, daily peace of mind.
Following are six recommendations on ways caregivers can help provide added security in the home for aging loved ones:
Upgrade the shower or bath.
If their current bathroom is not optimized for safety and convenience, this is a great place to start. There are many companies today specifically focused on upgrading existing bathtubs to become walk-in tubs, mitigating the risk of tripping on the way in or out of the tub. If your loved one uses a walk-in shower, have grab bars professionally installed to the shower walls for balance and the ability to get up in the event of a fall.
Install a wireless camera in the home.
Check on Mom and Dad daily with a smart camera. These cameras are easy to mount and can be monitored through the app. Set it to notify you of any motion sensors so you can get daily notifications that your loved one is active and moving around the home.
Get a Medical Alert system with fall detection.
A Medical Alert system is the best way to ensure 24/7 emergency coverage for Mom or Dad. A wearable device on the wrist or neck offers an easy way to access emergency services at any time of the day or night with just a simple push of a button. Opt for a version with GPS-enabled tracking, which allows you to see their location wherever they are, and go for the add-on fall detection protection for increased security.
Install a home security system with fire sensors, CO sensors, and interior sensors.
Most wireless home security systems these days come with easy-to-attach sensors that can be added not only to the exterior doors and windows, but also to drawers, medicine cabinets, and closets. Want to know if Mom or Dad has eaten today? You can attach sensors to the fridge, pantry, and snack drawers and view activity through the app to see how frequently each has been opened and shut. Carbon monoxide (CO) and fire sensors can be life-saving; sensors detect CO or smoke in the air and dispatch fire and emergency immediately — even if the homeowner is asleep or not at home.
Invest in an automatic pill dispenser.
Managing daily medications can be difficult, causing missed doses and general confusion on whether a medication was taken or not. Investing in an automatic pill dispenser can make this daily task easier and safer. Depending on your loved one’s daily pill regimen, find one that can be programmed to dispense medication according to individual-specific prescriptions, is tamper-proof and holds the proper amount of dosing. Also, look for added features like audible and visual flashing light notifications, email, text and phone reminders, and online dosage tracking history so you can be sure medications are taken at the proper times.
Install motion sensor nightlights for safer walking in the dark.
As they age, many seniors report difficulty sleeping through the night. This leads to more walking around in the dark to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Motion sensor lights are a relatively inexpensive way to provide more visibility, thereby lessening the risk of tripping and falling. Today’s motion sensor lights are energy-efficient and easy to install – even when there’s no outlet available.