Today we’re going to talk about senior safety in the home, and some simple things you can do to help seniors remain in the comfort of their own homes.
The advancements in modern medicine are enabling all of us to live longer and more independently. It’s a wonderful gift for seniors to be able to stay in the same home where they raised their families. The majority of seniors will tell you they want to stay in their own home.
Living in one’s own home provides a sense of continued independence, and frees an individual from feeling like they might be a burden on family and loved ones. Despite an individual’s sense of freedom, having an elderly person living alone can be a source of worry for their adult children and loved ones.
“What if” scenarios can often overwhelm the mind when it comes to senior safety in the home.
- What if they fall down?
- What if the smoke detector goes off and they don’t hear it?
- What if they forget something on the stove?
- What if they don’t tell anyone that it’s becoming harder to get around?
If you’ve had these kinds of thoughts before, you’re not alone. As our parents age, it’s only natural to become concerned about their ability to live independently. These are legitimate concerns, as there are many factors to consider.
Accidents happen closest to home, as the old adage goes, and there is a ring of truth to that. In particular, falls pose the greatest risk for seniors. Injuries incurred from falls can limit independent living.
Knowing about the dangers gives you and your loved ones the power to take steps to prevent accidents before they happen. Here are some senior home safety tips you can practice to improve senior safety at home.
Simple Steps to Improve Senior Safety in the Home
It’s important to start out with a complete home safety check to assess what your senior needs to make their home as safe as possible. It’s recommended that you conduct a room-by-room check at least once a year to ensure the home remains safe as your senior’s needs change. These are some of the most common modifications that are made to improve senior safety in the home.
A walk-in shower can significantly reduce the risk of falls, and make it much easier for seniors to access the shower without assistance. We also recommend installing grab bars in the shower and around the toilet.
At the very least, make sure stairwells have a secure handrail that runs the length of the stairs. Also, ensure this area is well lit. Keep the stairwell clutter-free to avoid tripping. If budget permits, a stair lift is the ultimate way to improve a senior’s safety when going up and down stairs.
When it comes to the kitchen, the most important consideration is keeping regularly used items on lower shelves. You want to avoid having your senior reach above their heads to get something down, which could lead to strain and/or loss of balance. This is one of the easiest modifications to make, as it simply involves some rearranging.
In the living room, and throughout the house, make sure there is adequate lighting. Remove clutter, and make sure cables and extension cords are flush against the walls. It’s also recommended that you remove all throw rugs, even if they are secured with an adhesive. The slightest rise in elevation can take a senior by surprise and be a fall risk.