If you’re like many Montgomery County residents who are caught in the “sandwich generation,” you may find yourself caring for your children as well as your elderly mom or dad who has recently moved into your home. Moving a parent into your family’s home can present its own set of challenges, and accidents in the home account for approximately 1/3 of all injuries for seniors.

Much like you baby-proofed your home for the arrival of your kids, you should take steps to “elder-proof” your home if an older loved one is moving in to prevent accidents and injuries.

Bathroom: According to elder-care expert Doctor Marion, accidents to your loved one are most likely to happen in the bathroom. Install safety rails both by the toilet and in the shower, and add non-slip strips to the tub to avoid falls. Clearly label faucets as “hot” and “cold” to avoid potential burns.

Kitchen: Keep a stove-top fire extinguisher readily accessible, and try to use unbreakable dishes that are stored at easy-to-reach levels. Make sure to keep the kitchen floor clear of water, which can make the floor hazardous. It’s also a good idea to remove knives, scissors, and other sharp objects from countertops.

Everywhere: Increase the wattage of light bulbs both inside and outside of the home so your parent has better visibility. At night, use nightlights in hallways to make a clear path to the bathroom. Remove all throw rugs, which can cause your loved one to trip and fall, as well as any other clutter, extension cords, or wires which may get in the way of walking. Replace hard-to-turn door knobs with easy to open levers, and consider removing certain interior locks to prevent accidental lock-ins.

While you can control the safety on your home’s property, unfortunately, you cannot control if businesses and corporations take the time to make sure their grounds are also safe. In fact, about eight million people per year seek emergency care for slip-and-fall accidents. If your loved one has been the victim of a slip-and-fall accident, contact Lenard Cohen, a Philadelphia personal injury attorney, 1800 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19103, at 215-765-8181 for a free consultation. +Lenard Cohen



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