With the vast majority of seniors opting to continue to live at home during aging, it’s crucial to execute a comprehensive home assessment to find and fix any dangers and ensure the seniors you love remain secure and safe. The simplest way to do this is to start outside the home and work your way in, room by room, imagining what your experience would be in each location if you struggled with the common challenges experienced as we age, such as with vision or balance.
Listed below are several useful household safety tips and modification ideas to get you started:
- Assess sidewalks along with other walking areas for uneven pavement, loose bricks, cracks, leaves, and other debris
- Confirm that the address number, either on the mailbox and/or home itself, is clearly visible in case emergency responders have to locate the home
- If there are stairs or a ramp leading up to the front door, a handrail should be mounted on both sides
- Get rid of any clutter, cords, and other items that may cause someone to trip
- Utilize a no-trip threshold in the doorway
- Make sure there is ample lighting, and a small table to place letters, a purse, and other items when entering the residence
- Keep commonly-used items in easy-to-reach places
- Make use of Lazy Susans, pull out cabinets, and shelves for easier access
- Use touch, sensor, or lever handles as opposed to knobs that turn
- Set water temperature to no higher than 120 degrees F
- Install grab bars beside the toilet, in the tub/shower, and in any other strategic locations
- Consider a higher toilet, or add a toilet seat riser, in addition to a shower chair and handheld shower wand
- Always use non-slip strips in the bathtub and on the floor, and remove any throw rugs or mats (or ensure they’re firmly attached to the floor)
- Place nightlights both in the bedroom itself and in the hallway leading to the bathroom
- Eliminate any obstacles between the bed and doorway, and any other places within the room in which the senior may want to move around
- Replace throw rugs with carpeting
Throughout the home, make certain walkways are clear and spacious enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. It is equally important to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, testing them regularly and changing batteries at least every six months.
It’s also smart to consider an emergency response pendant for the senior to wear, which can be activated to call for help in case of a fall or any other emergencies.
Most importantly, partner with a trustworthy and well-established in-home care provider, like Home With You Senior Care. We are available to complete a home safety evaluation and recommend added measures that may be taken to make sure your senior loved one remains safe, as well as offer a number of in-home care services, tailored to each individual’s unique needs.