As a caregiver, one of your primary tasks is to help with activities of daily living or ADLs. And of course, you want to complete these tasks safely. So, what are the best practices when working with elderly clients? Here are 5 ADL safety tips for assisting senior patients.
Top ADL Safety Tips for Senior Patients
Everyday life can present multiple hazards for elderly clients. This especially holds true in private residences which are not specifically designed with senior lifestyle in mind. On the other hand, nursing homes and long-term care facilities usually have more amenities like walk-in-showers. To provide the best care, try to identify and address anything that could be dangerous before an accident occurs. This may include everything from scorching tap water to open flames on a stove to inadequate lighting.
Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls
For an elderly individual, a single misstep could result in a bone broken and an extended hospital stay. Thus, take extra precautions to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Keep pathways clear and remove unnecessary objects. Additionally, watch out for any slippery surfaces such as wet bathroom floors.
Use Safety Equipment
The proper use of safety equipment can make ADLs far less risky for seniors. If your client struggles with stability, you may wish to recommend shower chairs, transfer benches, raised toilet seats, grab bars, handrails, stairlift devices, adjustable beds, and/or bed railings. Plus, in some cases, Medicare, Medicaid or insurance companies will help to cover the cost of these devices.
Follow Proper Procedures
As part of their training, caregivers learn the safest and most efficient ways to assist their patients. Carefully follow these procedures when you are moving, dressing, grooming, and/or feeding your clients. Additionally, recognize when you need extra help. For example, if you’re struggling to move someone on your own, don’t push through. You could injure yourself, your patient, or both. Instead, talk to your supervisor about alternate solutions.
Provide Adequate Supervision
The correct amount of supervision varies from one individual to the next. Some seniors are more self-sufficient and value their privacy, while others require ongoing guidance. When in doubt, follow your instincts over your client’s requests. For instance, let’s say a difficult patient insists they can get in the bathtub all by themselves. However, you know this could create a potentially dangerous situation. The best course of action is to firmly guide them through the safest process in a respectful manner.
Do You Enjoy Working with Senior Patients?
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