Tips For Making Your Home Safer When A Hearing-Impaired Family Member Moves In

When you welcome an elderly family member into your home to live with you, there's a chance that he or she might be dealing with some degree of hearing impairment. While visiting a hearing expert and getting hearing aid devices can help immeasurably, there's always the chance that this person won't always be wearing his or her hearing aids — for example, when getting up at night to use the bathroom. On the surface, this might not seem like a grave concern, but the reality is that those who struggle to hear actually have a higher risk of falling than those with full hearing. And, when elderly people fall, there's a serious risk of a major injury. In addition to advising your family member to wear his or her hearing aids at all times, here are some other ways to reduce the risk of a fall.

Deal With Any Obstacles That Pose A Tripping Hazard

Before your family member moves in, walk through your home and identify any areas that could pose a tripping hazard. These can include the curled-up corner of an area rug, a subtle change in elevation between two rooms and even a bathroom floor that gets exceptionally slippery when wet. Once you've identified these areas, take steps to address them. This can mean taping down an area rug, installing a night light around any elevation changes and putting no-slip mats down in the bathroom.

Install Railings

When your parent navigates certain areas of your home, he or she may be able to hang onto furniture to gain steadiness. In other areas, however, there might be nothing to grab in the event of a slip. This means that it's beneficial to install railings in several key areas. This can include along hallways, in the bathroom and anywhere else that you're concerned about your parent falling.

Talk To Your Children About Messes

While kids aren't the only ones who can make messes, you have to be careful to teach your children to avoid leaving messes behind. A child who spills a drink on a hard floor or who leaves his or her small toys in the middle of the floor or on the stairs can increase the risk of your elderly family member falling — he or she might not be watching for such obstacles and could easily slip. Your children need to know to pick up after themselves and alert you in the event that they spill something.