Some seniors prefer to stay in their own homes instead of aging houses. Others who do not want to be alone would rather move in with their children. Either way, a home formerly a safe abode can present dangers and traps for the elderly. Falls, slips and burns are examples of hazards and they are dangerous to a senior’s health. How do you then make your house safe for seniors? In this article, we have discussed some tips and tricks to follow.
Four Tips to Make a House Safe for the Elderly
1. Avoid Slips and Falls
One major concern to the elderly is tripping and falling in the home. They are not as strong as they used to be and a fall can cause serious health complications. Some of the potential hazard for falls and their solution includes:
- Removes rugs – Although rugs are attractive floor covering, they can cause anyone to fall. Their sharp edges and bunched up middles can be overlooked and tripped over. The best way to avoid this is to remove all rug coverings in the home. Tiles and marble coverings are far suitable for the elderly.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom – Too many falls have been reported to occur in the bathrooms. They are far deadly to the elderly as they have lesser foot grip. The best way to elderly-proof your bathroom is to install grab bars in the toilet and shower/bathtub.They can easily hold onto the grab bars as they are about to slip. In the toilets, they can be used to raise themselves after go. It is even recommended that you change your bathtub to a walk-in shower as they present less hazard. Rubber mats should also be placed at the front of the bathrooms
- Remove children’s toys, piled clothes, and shoes – Toys left in the hallway by children can also cause seniors to trip. Piled clothes and shoes are not left out. Children should be restricted to play in their rooms and all toys should be kept away immediately after use. Clothes and shoes should also not be left lying around.
- Avoid long extension cords – Thankfully, technology has provided us with wireless devices in our homes. However, some things are still inevitable. Extension cords for connecting and charging devices can be tripped over if they are on the way. All appliances should be kept safe and at the edges of a room. You can also check an appliance guide website for safe appliances to use in a home.
- Install wall lights at the dark stairways – Yet another cause of falls is stairways. Several reports have been filed where an elderly person living alone falls down the stairs and unable to stand up or call for help. You must put in adequate lightning all over the home. Wall lights are best equipped for stairways. Smart lights that can be remotely controlled with a mobile phone or a clap is also ideal.
2. Prevent burns and fire hazard
Burns and fire are other factors to consider, and the home should be proofed of it. Candles are inadvisable as they can start a fire if left unattended. Smoke detectors should be functioning and their batteries regularly replaced. The water heater in the bathroom should not be set above 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns in case of leakage. Overall, educate your seniors on fire safety and keep emergency numbers handy.
3. Make the bedrooms safe
Danger lurks should be in the bedrooms, and it should be senior-proofed too! Soft mattresses should be replaced with firmer ones for comfort and support. Use a modern hospital bed that can take on many positions providing a greater sense of relaxation, safety, independence, and sleep quality. You can also install a telescoping bar above the bed that they can hold on to when they want to get up in the mornings. Wardrobes should also have doors that close properly so they do not accidentally jam their legs while walking in the room
4. Arrange your kitchen items to make it safe for elders
Cupboards, where foods and kitchen items are stored, should not be high up. However, in impossible situations, rearrange items in the kitchen according to usage. Highly used items should be lower while less frequently used items can be stored at the top shelf. You should also place low stool seniors can climb to reach high.
These are just basic things to look out for when proofing a home for seniors. Houses differ in the arrangement, so you should carefully lookout for potential hazards and prevent them. Seniors will feel a lot safer is a home that is open and free.