A Parkinson’s diagnosis can soon become a daily struggle. Your body isn’t performing how it used to and so your prior living space isn’t as comfortable or convenient as it used to be. Ensuring your home is in the proper conditions is critical to your safety. Here’s a guide for home safety for Parkinson’s patients:
Have a Clear, Organized Living Space
Involuntary muscle movements such as falling is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, so any unnecessary clutter is just an accident waiting to happen. Here are more specific safety tips in order to prevent falls. The home throughout should have clear, accessible lighting, as well as nearby methods of communication and emergency contact information; however various rooms in the house may require particular means of organization and help.
- Have bed height allow feet to touch the floor
- Use a lightweight comforter and a slippery sheet to make getting out easier
- Place cookware, dinnerware, cutlery, and other kitchen gadgets where it’s convenient
- Keep flammables away from the stove
- Installing grab bars near the toilet and tub/shower
- Making sure seating is conveniently available wherever needed
- Placing non-slip bath mats in the tub and throughout the main hallways of the bathroom
- Get rid of any tripping hazards such as electrical/phone cords and rugs
- Ensuring the floors are stable and non-slip
- Setting up handrails wherever movement might fluctuate such as stairways
- Establish comfortable sitting and standing areas
- Have wide walkways so moving around is easier especially to those in wheelchairs or walkers
Outside the Home
- Double check home security and make sure all doors, windows, locks work properly
- Repair any broken concrete and/or sidewalks
- Install ramps to increase mobility
Secure Proper Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A disaster can strike any minute, so we need to make sure we have the proper devices installed to avoid as many accidents as possible. Test to make sure your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly working, and if possible, get detectors that are all interconnected so that if one goes off all the other ones get alerted as well. It’s best to have the earliest warning of any possible fire or harmful gas especially if someone in the house is less mobile.
Since someone with Parkinson’s might not be able to perform all their daily tasks as they used to, home automation can be very convenient in assisting them with various home appliances. Smart home automation can help with simple chores such as turning on a light switch or adjusting the thermostat. Any device that is voice activated would be the most favorable, but remote controlled tools are also a great help. With smart phones becoming more and more prominent in our lives, they are usually the main hub for automation systems. By incorporating these gadgets into your home, it gives your patient a sense of accomplishment and normalness to their lives.
Every case of Parkinson’s is different, so not all these recommendations might be right for you and your home. However, these precautions can be a guide to further ensure your safety and help you feel more at ease. Just make sure your environment is comfortable and as enjoyable you’d want it to be, that’s the only way it is the most effective.