Its every senior’s dream to live out their years in the home they love. Nevertheless, as we age our homes need to be modified to accommodate our needs. Before an accident happens, it is best to take the initiative of making the necessary changes. We have some recommendations to make things safer for your loved ones.
1. Remove Clutter
Over time we accumulate things in our homes and clutter builds up. When you are younger it is easy to step over or walk around these items. However, for seniors this can be a recipe for disaster. For this reason, you want to remove things from the floor such as piles of shoes, old cardboard or newspapers, laundry, etc.
2. Get Rid of Tripping Hazards
Like clutter this can cause seniors to fall and become injured. It is a best practice to remove rugs, or mats that can lift and cause a senior to trip. This is not limited to rugs, ottomans and footrests can also get in the way, depending on where they are positioned.
3. Accessible Bathrooms
Of all the rooms in the house, the bathroom can be the most dangerous. A grab bar inside the shower is a good thing to install. This will make getting in and out of the tub safer. Also, you may want to consider a tub that does not require stepping over or has a seat in it as well. This will also prevent slips.
4. Remove Kitchen Hazards
Your loved one may or may not be cooking for themselves. If they are, you will need to make the kitchen more accessible and less hazardous. Move frequently used items to lower shelves to they do not need to reach for items. Install faucets that are clearly marked for hot and cold water. Furthermore, a best practice is to buy loud stove timers, so they do not forget their food in the oven. If you want your loved one to avoid using the oven, buying them a microwave is a great alternative to the stove.
5. Improve the Lighting
All hallways and walkways need to be well-lit. You especially want to make sure the route to the bathroom is well-lit at night. You also want to make sure that the outside and near all entry ways are lit well. A good tip is to place night lights around the house that automatically turn on in the dark. These can be a big help as your loved on will not need to remember to turn them on.
6. Install Safety Devices
Every home should have smoke and carbon monoxide detector regardless of your ages. It is important to periodically check these for your loved one to make sure they are working properly. A fall detection device can be helpful as well. These are usually a bracelet or necklace that your loved one can wear with a button to press incase they fall and need assistance. For seniors with limited mobility a chair lift can help them go up and down the stairs with out needing to walk.
If you have questions or want to have your loved one’s home assessed by a professional you can contact a physical therapist for more information.