Nighttime Safety Issues for Elderly People Living Alone

Aging in place is a common choice for many seniors, but some may face difficulty doing so independently, especially during the night hours. To reduce the risks associated with the dangers mentioned below, take advantage of the accompanying prevention tips. The objective is to ensure your senior loved one can maintain independence, comfort, and happiness while living at home alone.

Slips & Falls

Going to the restroom during the night may be more challenging for seniors due to worsening mobility, eyesight, or cognitive abilities. As a result, they may be at higher risk for slips and falls that increase the odds of broken bones, head injuries, or the need for hospitalization.

To maintain your loved one’s comfort and safety, keep the home well lit and easy to navigate with nightlights and clear pathways. Rearranging the bedroom layout and removing potentially dangerous objects can also prevent accidents.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional in-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Medication Mishaps

Despite being alert when taking medicine in the morning and evening, your loved one may have a higher chance of forgetting or skipping nighttime doses due to sleepiness or memory issues. However, it’s just as important to take medicine correctly at night as it is during the rest of the day. You can prevent this danger by stepping in and offering medication reminders. For instance, you can connect with your loved one via phone or video chats when it’s time to take the prescriptions.

Your family can also hire a professional caregiver who can stay with your loved one during the night to ensure they receive timely medication reminders, and the caregiver can also monitor your loved one’s safety and be there to prevent isolation and depression.

For many seniors, 24-hour home care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Corio by Institute on Aging (IOA), we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care San Francisco industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Electrical Hazards

At night, when your loved one is more likely to lose their balance, there’s also a risk of knocking over a cup of water, increasing the chances of not only slips and falls but also electrical hazards. If water from a glass were to spill into an electrical outlet, it could cause a power outage or fire. For this reason, it’s important to keep all outlets and electrical cords covered or securely placed for protection. To minimize the chances of electrical accidents, you should also encourage your loved one to use spill-proof cups and containers when drinking and eating.

Burglary

Although individuals of all ages are at risk for theft when living alone, seniors may not be able to respond as quickly or effectively as those with stronger cognitive and mental abilities. To protect your loved one’s home and safety from nighttime theft, install alarms that notify authorities, you, and your siblings.

In addition to security systems, your loved one needs a safe place they can get to quickly so they can hide from thieves. The location should have a mobile device that allows your loved one to alert you and others of the danger and keep you updated on their whereabouts until someone can get to the home and help. 

Professional caregivers can help seniors stay safe in their homes. Families looking for top-rated hourly, 24-hour, and live-in care providers can reach out to Corio by IOA. From respite for family caregivers to specialized dementia care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call today at (415) 750-4111. 

How Can I Help My Elderly Loved One Prevent Falls?

Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly. As people age, their bones thin, increasing the risk of osteoporosis, a degenerative disease that causes brittle bones and heightens the risk of fractures. Other age-related factors, such as mobility problems, dementia, and chronic pain, also contribute to the risk of falls. Here are some strategies to reduce your senior loved one’s risk of falling and ensure their safety.

Eliminate Floor Hazards & Ensure Handrail Safety

Obstacles on pathways and stairs can heighten the risk of falls at home. It’s crucial to keep floors and stairs clear of hazards, such as shoes, dog toys, magazines, and other unsecured items that could potentially lead to a fall. Promptly clean up spills and remove throw rugs from the home to prevent tripping. 

If the home has stairs, ensure the banister or railing is secure. If there isn’t a railing, consider installing one to provide an extra layer of safety when your loved one navigates the stairs. 

Handrails or grab bars should be installed in the shower to prevent falls on the slippery and wet surface of the tile. Installing grab bars on both sides of the toilet can also provide more stability when getting on and off the toilet.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional home caregivers who provide high-quality home care in San Francisco. Trust Corio by Institute on Aging (IOA) to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Buy Safe Shoes

Ill-fitting shoes, untied shoes, or shoes with slippery soles can also increase the risk of falling. Many elderly individuals have mobility problems that prevent them from lifting their feet properly when they walk. As a result, wearing thick-soled shoes may lead to trips and falls. 

Instead, encourage your loved one to wear shoes with thinner, sturdy soles that are more comfortable and less likely to cause falls. Additionally, instead of shoes with laces, suggest shoes with Velcro fasteners, which are easy to manage and won’t come untied.

Monitor Medication Side Effects

If your loved one takes prescription medication, they may experience side effects such as drowsiness, weakness, confusion, dizziness, and vision problems, which can lead to falls. If your loved one reports experiencing side effects, or if you notice them yourself, contact your loved one’s healthcare provider immediately. The physician can adjust the dose or discontinue the medication and replace it with one less likely to cause side effects.

If your senior loved one needs hourly, live-in, or overnight home care, Corio by IOA can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Ensure Proper Lighting

Dimly lit rooms can increase the risk of falling. Bright lights can illuminate pathways and stairs, helping your loved one feel safe and comfortable while moving around the home. 

It’s also essential to keep nightlights on in the bathroom, bedroom, and hallways for those times when your loved one needs to get up in the middle of the night. Proper lighting can minimize the fear of falling and prevent incontinence accidents due to reluctance to walk to the bathroom in the dark. If your loved one is unable to sleep because of the continuous glow of the nightlight, consider using motion-detecting lights, which are only activated by movement.

Professional caregivers can help seniors stay safe in their homes. Families looking for top-rated hourly, 24-hour, and live-in care providers can reach out to Corio by IOA. From respite for family caregivers to specialized dementia care, there are many ways we can make life easier for aging adults and their loved ones. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Connect Specialists today at (415) 750-4111.

 

Boosting Home Safety for Older Adults

Aging adults today have the advantage of being able to use technology combined with traditional strategies to extend the time they’re able to safely live independently in their own homes. With proper planning, your senior loved one could avoid many of the most common causes of hospitalization while still enjoying daily activities. Adding these strategies to your loved one’s plan to age in place can help them stay safe and healthy.

Start by Doing a Clean Sweep

Many home accidents are caused by simple clutter. If it’s been a while since your loved one had a chance to clear out the shelves in the closet or remove unwanted furniture, now’s the time to do it. Removing bulky furniture leaves more room to walk safely through the house. Clearing off a shelf can prevent items from falling on your loved one. Do a thorough walk-through of the home and remove any safety hazards you find.

Use Automated Medication Dispensers

Medication mishaps are one of the leading causes of senior hospitalizations. An automated or “smart” medication dispenser will send an alert to your loved one when it’s time to take a dose. You can also program the dispenser to dispense the appropriate amount of medication based on the dosing schedule. You may still need a caregiver to remind your loved one to take the medication on schedule. But the extra layer of protection can provide you with more peace of mind.

If your senior loved one needs hourly, live-in, or overnight home care, Corio by Institute on Aging (IOA) can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Brighten Up Dark Walkways

Poor lighting is another preventable cause of senior injuries. Check each room in the house to identify areas that could use more lighting. You can also update the lighting system to include automatic features that illuminate hallways and other common areas at night without your loved one having to search for the switch. Make sure to include outdoor walkways and porches in this step, since your loved one might need more lighting when taking the dog out for a walk or arriving home later than expected.

 

Professional caregivers can help seniors stay safe in their homes. Families looking for top-rated hourly, 24-hour, and live-in care providers can reach out to Corio by IOA.

Install Security Systems with Smart Technology

A home security system can do more than just send an alarm during a break-in. Security systems with video technology can allow you to check on your loved one’s home remotely to identify who’s at the door. Or you could use the system to set a code for a caregiver to use to enter during visits so your loved one doesn’t have to get up to answer the door. Smart security systems can also make it easier to call for help in an emergency.

Fill in Gaps with Personalized Home Care Services

Technology and assistive devices are amazing resources for increasing safety in your loved one’s home, but there are some things that still require a human touch. Talk to your loved one about which activities cause them anxiety throughout the day and if an in-home caregiver could help. From having someone nearby to prevent bathroom slip-and-fall accidents to knowing a caregiver will check to make sure your loved one turns off the stove, your loved one can benefit from having personalized home care that addresses every safety need. 


Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional home caregivers who provide high-quality home care San Francisco services. Trust Corio by IOA to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. Call us today at (415) 750-4111 to create a customized in-home care plan.