Home Safety Tips For Seniors
Nearly 90% of individuals over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible, according to a research report by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute. By making changes now to include safety features, you may be able to help your parent live comfortably and safe at home for a long time.
Here are some changes you can make now that are not expensive or time-consuming to accomplish.
One out of 3 adults aged 65 or older falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in adults age 65 and older, the CDC says.
Tripping is dangerous for anyone, but particularly for those who have become more fragile with age. To help prevent falls, remove throw rugs; Use non-slip mats to avoid slippery hardwood floors; replace high thresholds with low pieces to prevent tripping.
Dim lighting can lead to potentially dangerous falls, especially as our eyesight starts to go. Use higher-wattage bulbs and install dimmer switches if possible; make sure bedroom lights can be shut off from the bed; improve kitchen lighting by making sure the stove and sink are well-lit. Additional floor lighting or lamps can help seniors who enjoy reading. Hallways, stairways and bathrooms are areas that should be well-lit.
It can be easy to become forgetful with age and age-related conditions such as dementia; to prevent accidents in the kitchen such as fires when a burner is left on. There are several things you may want to consider. For example, temperature-controlled cookware such as the Safe T Element cooking system designed to keep the temperature below the auto-ignition point of cooking oil, thus reducing the risk of a fire. Other options are systems that automatically turn off stoves and ovens, such as CookStop and Stove Guard.
Opening doors or turning on faucet can be difficult for people with arthritis or a weak grip. Level doorknobs and handles are much easier to use.
Install handrails both inside and outside the home. Add railings on both sides of the stairways and ramps for entrances may be necessary for wheelchairs.
Bathrooms can become a major concern for seniors. Tub and shower grab bars and hand bars are easy to install and don’t forget to include grab bars on both sides of the toilet. A shower chair and a handheld shower head with make bathing safer and easier.
Medical Alert devices have come a long way. In addition to a call button, systems now come with features such as GPS technology.
Age can change how people approach daily life. Making adjustments for senior living now, can create a safe and comfortable life for those who want to stay at home.