As people age, their vision, hearing, or mobility may become impaired. When senior citizens want to age-in-place, their homes should be modified to help them live independently. These common-sense measures help reduce risks and create a safer home for seniors.
Home Safety Issues That Affect the Elderly
As you work to make a safer home for seniors, be aware of some facts about the elderly. An accidental fall can cause serious injury to a senior citizen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that among people age 65 and older, one in four individuals suffers a fall every year. Sustaining one fall doubles the chance it will happen again. To maintain a safer home for seniors, reduce the potential for these types of accidents.
Useful Tips to Make a Safer Home for Seniors
Follow these tips to create safer living spaces for the elderly:
1. Provide Generous Lighting for a Safer Home for Seniors
Poor lighting often contributes to falls. Add LED lights to stairways, walk-in closets, and other low-light areas.
2. Install Non-Slip Flooring and Secure Area Rugs
Slick floors and sliding area rugs are falling hazards, especially to the elderly. To create a safer home for seniors, remove rugs entirely or secure them with anti-slip backing. Install non-slip flooring materials like low-pile carpeting or cork tiles.
3. Install Safety Hand Bars in Bathrooms
Professionally installed metal grab bars provide additional support for the elderly. Install grab bars both inside and outside of the shower and beside the toilet.
4. Long Electrical Cords or Cables are a Tripping Hazard
Lamp cords, computer cords, and television cables may cause seniors to trip. Run electrical cords under furniture or secure them to the wall to reduce the risk of falls.
5. Keep Fire Extinguishers Handy to Create a Safer Home for Seniors
Place a lightweight fire extinguisher near cooking areas and have an extinguisher available on each floor of the home. Teach everyone in the home how to use them. Make sure smoke alarms are installed throughout the home and tested regularly.
6. Install a Walk-In Bathtub or Sit-Down Shower
To minimize risks from slipping or falling in bathrooms, install bathing fixtures like a shower seat. Some companies design products, like walk-in bathtubs, specifically to accommodate the elderly.
7. Strong Handrails for Stairways
To make the home safer for the elderly, all stairways should be equipped with strong handrails for extra support. In some situations, installing a stair lift or elevator offers the safest assistance to seniors.
Create a Safer Home for Seniors for Peace of Mind
Help aging loved ones retain their independence at home. Making a safer home for seniors offers peace of mind for everyone involved.