If you are an older person or living with a chronic condition, you have to choose between in-home care or moving to a nursing home at some point. While there are circumstances where moving into a nursing home is inevitable, most people would prefer to continue enjoying the comfort and privacy of their home if they are able.
However, for this option to work for you, you must come up with ways to stay safe and healthy in your own home. This will benefit you in the future as a way to prevent any further difficulties.
Below are five of the important items you can invest in to promote your safety as a self-carer in your own home.
As an elderly person or someone with a chronic illness who lives alone, you must have systems that can help you call out for help in case of emergencies. Medical alert systems will instantly connect you to emergency help at the push of a button or when a fall is detected.
Since most modern emergency alarm systems are portable, you can have them on your wrist or hang them around your neck to make them easily reachable. Most medical alert systems can be connected to the internet, meaning they will alert a call center whenever you are in trouble.
Always have your important documents safely stored in a file or a box. This will save time and stress whenever they are needed. Some of the documents you need include:
- Contact information for your family and close friends
- Your doctors’ contact information and other healthcare providers
- Your health insurance information
- Your banking and other financial information
- A timeline of your health history
Since these documents will not always lie on top of your table, it is advisable to notify a trusted family member or friend where they can find them in case of an emergency.
Also, if you have saved these documents online, you can create a bookmark to allow easy access. You should consider having a bookmark manager to store your passwords and usernames safely as well.
A Medication Log
If you are taking several drugs each day, it is advisable to have a medical log to avoid adverse drug events, which are a major cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
Alternatively, you can create a spreadsheet on your computer. You should list each of the medications you are taking and include crucial information like:
- The doctor who prescribed it
- When it was prescribed
- Why it was prescribed
- Number of refills
- Refill date
Don’t forget to add your over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements to your log, as they can interact with your prescription drugs. Also, if you are not working with a single pharmacy, you should list the pharmacy where you bought each medication.
In case you are likely to forget to take your medicine, set alarms for medication times.
Having a calendar can help you organize your year to prevent events like missed doctor appointments. Unlike the normal calendars, a caregiver calendar comes with additional features like color coding to allow easier identification of important activities.
Some calendars also allow users to request help with some of their duties. Your friends or family members can claim the items, and you will be able to track them online.
In addition to requesting help, such calendars will help you keep your family and friends updated instead of telling the same stories and answering the same questions every time.
Bathroom Safety Items
Since bathrooms are a major source of accidents among the elderly and people with mobility difficulties, it is advisable to make your bathroom accident-proof by adding all the necessary safety features.
For example, you can consider adding arm rails that you can grab to steady yourself when using the bathroom. It is important to ensure that all your bathroom’s water faucets are well labelled and color-indicated for hot and cold to prevent hot water accidents.
Lastly, you should make your bathroom’s floor slip-proof by adding a non-slip mat that will improve your feet’s grip. If you use a tab, you can install bath mobility devices to assist you climb out of it safely.
When living as a full-time self-carer, it is advisable to ensure that your home is safe. The items above are crucial for your safety as they provide ways to protect yourself from a medical emergency and notify others in case of an emergency.