Our physical abilities change as we age, and we may have difficulties navigating our homes. Falls and accidents can happen more easily, and it’s important to ensure the safety of older loved ones in their homes. Here are a few tips and strategies to make a home safe for seniors.
Remove Trip Hazards to Make a Home Safe for Seniors
Trips and falls are common causes of injuries among aging adults. Remove loose rugs or clutter that could impede movement in the home. Verify pathways are clear and well-lit. Install night lights in hallways and bathrooms to prevent falls when going to the kitchen or bathroom after dark.
Install Grab Bars
Grab bars in the bathroom are a great way to prevent falls. These bars support seniors getting in or out of the shower and assist with balance when navigating the bathroom.
Make a Home Safe for Seniors: Improve Lighting
As we age, our eyesight may not be as good as it once was. Improve the lighting in your loved one’s home by adding brighter bulbs or additional light fixtures. Install motion-activated lights in key areas such as the entryway, hallway, or bathroom. The lights will power on when movement is detected, and elderly family members won’t have to fumble around in the dark to find the switch.
Handrails provide support and stability on staircases or ramps. Make sure all handrails in the home are securely attached and easy to grip.
Adjust the Height of the Furniture
Some individuals may have difficulty getting in and out of chairs or beds that are too low. Purchase adjustable chairs and a bed to assist your older family members into a standing position.
Remove Barriers to Make a Home Safe for Seniors
Make sure that all doorways and entrances are easily accessible. Remove obstacles such as furniture, rugs, or clutter that make it difficult for your loved one to navigate the home freely.
Install a Home Security System
A home security system provides peace of mind for you and your elderly loved one. Choose a system you can monitor from a smartphone. Security cameras, door and window sensors, and a panic button will help your loved ones feel more protected.
Use a Medical Alert System
A medical alert system is a practical option for seniors who live alone. These systems typically include a wearable device with a button that can be pressed in an emergency, connecting the wearer with a monitoring center that can dispatch help.
Regular maintenance of the home is essential for the safety of elderly individuals. Make sure appliances and home safety features are in good working order. Test smoke detectors monthly and verify the fire extinguisher is charged. Schedule regular inspections of heating and cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems.
To ensure the safety of senior family members, check in regularly. Ensure your loved one has everything they need to feel comfortable and safe. Offer support and assistance when necessary.
Physical modifications, technology, and regular check-ins make a home safer for older family members. These tips and strategies can help your loved one live safely and comfortably in their home for years.