Here are some of our favourite care tips:
- Grab bars and elevated toilet seats make good safety sense. Non-slip bath mats should be in tubs and showers.
- To avoid falls put night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, and other areas. Tack down or apply adhesive materials to the backs of rugs or remove them completely. Non-skid flooring is best and handrails should be installed on stairways.
- Care giving requires a generosity of spirit but caregivers also need to take care of their own physical and emotional needs. Make sure you take a respite break to recharge your physical and emotional resources.
- Stretch your mind. Learn new skills any way you can by taking courses, joining a book club, trying a new sport, or designing a garden. In a recent study of more than 2,800 older people, those who started exercising their minds more were better at handling daily activities 5 years later than people who were less mentally active.
- Use a grabber reacher to reach items that are at an unsafe distance
- Install and inspect smoke alarms frequently to make sure they are working properly
- Purchase a medical alert system in order to get help in case of an emergency
- Properly store medications using a pill organizer (Webster packs are available and dispensed from your local pharmacist) and use an alarm clock for medication reminders
- Schedule frequent visits or telephone calls from neighbours and close family to check-in
- Mark "on" and "off" positions on appliances clearly and with bright colours.
- Use a kettle with an automatic shut off.
- Store heavier objects at waist level.
- Store hazardous items separate from food.
- Avoid wearing long, loose clothing when cooking over the stove.
- Make sure food is rotated regularly. Check expiration dates.
Here are some fantastic travel tips as well!
With more Australians travelling as they get older, it pays to prepare for a healthy and safe trip. For older people, the risk of death or serious illness while travelling is much the same as staying at home. Sensible planning is important for a whole host of reasons. You should consider the following before taking off:
- See your doctor for a check-up and discuss your fitness for the trip you are planning.
- See your dentist and optometrist.
- Pack a spare pair of glasses, any medications you need and a small medical / first aid kit.
- Organise travel health insurance with pre-existing illness cover if needed. Make sure it covers emergency evacuation.
- Make sure routine immunisations are up-to-date and get vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia.
- Consider your back; use luggage with built in wheels.
- Take clothes and hats to suit the climate.
- If concerned about your health, consider taking an organised holiday
- Consider your stamina and keep flight lengths and plane transfers in mind. Discuss any issues with the travel agent.