Wheelchair Medical Transport
Blog - Wheelchair or Elderly - Living and staying mobile in Greater Houston
Are you responsible for an aging parent?
Do yourself a favor by being proactive around your parents' home and look out for any potential safety issues.
You will be ensuring yourself some peaceful sleep for the future. Take an afternoon and do a simple walk-through inspection. When you are finished – you will have a significant list of tems that require your attention.
Mother, when she was still alive, enjoyed the extra-long phone cord she had installed, so she could transport her bulky land-line telephone all around the house. The only problem was that she never left it in the same place – so picture a little lady with house slippers, and eyeglasses on the tip of her nose, searching around to find a ringing phone. She was forever getting a snake-like cord trapped around her ankles. On those occasions where I happened to be there - I would leap to save her from a potential fall. However, those times when I was not around - I used to lay awake at night picturing a bathroom run and her falling headfirst, or slipping in the bathtub. I even imagined her being a victim of a burglary or some other crime, forgetting to lock her door at night, or slipping on the wet porch on the way to fetch the newspaper.
Now that I think about it – I should have walked through the house jotting down a list of safety items my brother's and I needed to tackle. Instead, I aged myself 10 years, chewed off my nails, and called her frequently at night before I went to bed - "Mother- you okay? I'm just checking on you".
Since we have embraced this market, I felt compelled to share some helpful tips, after all, my family has learned so much from providing care for parents, aunts, and uncles. If you have any tips to add, just email them over; and we will include them along with your name.
- Store, sell, or donate any unnecessary or unused furniture in order to provide ample space for walkers or wheelchairs.
- Glass tabletops, especially those with sharp corners need to be padded or even removed.
- Test furniture for stabilization, or loose screws – especially if they are timeworn. If there are pieces used on a daily basis - say a dresser or vanity, then, it may be a good idea to secure those to the wall in order to prevent tipping or falling over.
- Those favored chairs and sofas will be much easier to get up from once you elevate them with wooded platforms. Ideally, when the edge of the chair or sofa is even with the back of their knees – it makes for an easier transition.
- Be kind to your parents and provide adequate light bulbs for their reading or sewing, lighting timers are widely available; and automatic lights, inside and outside are easy to install. Non-stimulating amber night-lights are necessary.
Bathroom and Bedroom
- Fire and Carbon Monoxide alarms should be tested and working properly.
- Non-Skid flooring and slip guards for flooring and carpets.
- Grab rails, shower chairs, and shower wands are great features to add to the bathroom.
- Extension Cords, phone or lamp cords. First, be sure the wattage is adequate for the appliance or tool used; there is a wide variety of cable sleeves, looms, ties, clamps, wraps and fasteners; just visit your local hardware store.
- Watch alarms are a great way to remind family to lock the doors, take medication, or turn on the security alarm system before retiring for the night.
Remember, this is just a quick list for you and your siblings to tackle over a weekend. Fortunately, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, The FDA, and the State Office for Aging publish a more in-depth list of items to consider.
Also, the FDA – offers an email alert to anyone who signs up – get the latest information gathered by the FDA on which products have been recalled or issued a safety alert. Sign up at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm