Many of us wish to age well at home. However, for older adults, this may pose a challenge. This article provides home safety tips for your loved ones for them to stay home safely and happily.
For older adults, especially those with mobility issues, the fall risk is high, and they are more likely to sustain severe injuries from falls, and we should therefore reduce the possibility of falls as much as possible. Items that have to be stabilized or secured, such as an unsecured extension or electric cord, or loose railings, should be properly arranged or fixed. Removing items such as unsecured throw rugs, furniture in poor condition or clutter on floors is also something necessary.
Moving on, you can also replace or add on items in the home to reduce the fall risk. For wood or tile floors, you can put non-slip wax. For uncarpeted stairs, non-skid treads will be useful. Throw rugs and regular bath mats should be replaced with those that have adhesive or rubberized backings. For furniture with sharp edges, soft edge protectors would help in reducing injuries from falls or even just bumping into them.
Other modifications that would require you to get some help would be adding ramps or widening doorways for your loved ones who use a walker or wheelchair.
Install Safety and Accessibility Equipment
Following the removal of hazards, there are additional equipment that can be installed or purchased to make the house safer for your loved one.
We will focus on bathroom safety, where the likelihood of slips and falls are extremely high. Place textured non-slip strips for bathtubs and showers. For additional stability, the installation of grips or grab bars by the toilet and showers will be helpful. A waterproof seat or chair can be added to the shower for ease of bathing. A removable handheld shower head is also a possibility if it is more convenient for your loved one. A toilet model with a high profile and a raised seat would also be useful to your loved one.
For the rest of the house, the replacement of door handles with lever handles that are easier to turn and pull, or even other types of handles, which are easier for your loved one to use. Placing nightlights in important, often-used places is also beneficial to your loved one, particularly between bedrooms and bathrooms. As a whole, you should evaluate the house’s lighting to see which areas should have better visibility. Replace light bulbs and add lamps as required.
Invest in a Medical Alert System
For those with loved ones who are living on their own, a medical alert system would be indispensable. There are various systems available, but one convenient and easily used item would be a wearable button that can be pressed in order to dial 911, as well as alert family members or neighbors.
In addition, displaying a few emergency hotlines around the house would also be useful for easy access. We recommend 911 for life-threatening emergencies, the local police department, the local hospital, the family doctor, the poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222), and your state’s elder abuse hotline.